Tips For Improving Morale

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    I started on a new unit a month ago and hate to say there is a huge morale issue. I frequently hear comments from other nurses about how they hate their jobs, their patients, and the families. It really isn't a terrible unit and not everyone has this attitude, but it's pretty prevalent. I feel like these bad attitudes can affect patient care (we're a large urban ICU and that's stressful enough). I'm not interested in jumping ship- the grass isn't always greener- but I was wondering if any of you have experienced this on your units and been a part of turning it around. Any success stories with improving morale? I've already made a commitment not to partake in the grumbling and badmouthing.
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    I have taken on the voluntary job of being the "nurse cheerleader" at our little facility because morale was so painfully low!! We had been undergoing alot of changes, including 2 DON'S in less than 3 years, a physician with a "God complex" who cost us a few really good nurses, and a revolving cycle of "us vs. them" when it came to relations between the nursing staff and the staff in the adjoining clinic. Soooo, I now do bi-monthly quizzes that are hand-written based on info I get out of medical and nursing magazines and journals and out of nursing drug reference books (whenever a new med is added to our formulary, I do a "quiz" on it)....these quizzes are voluntary, but all who finish the quiz are entered for a drawing!! I have bought $10-$20 gift cards at some of the local shops in town and at the local gas stations for the lucky winners!! I have also taken on the role of being the "team captain" for our county's very first ACS Relay for Life which takes place the last week in June!!! Tomorrow, we will have a lunch buffet (I am bringing taco soup and slushburgers!!) and we will have folks from ALL departments there to sign up for the relay and offer their suggestions for fund-raisers!! National EMS week and National Lab Week are all coming up as is National Nurses Week (may 6-12) and I already have luncheons and dinners planned!! ANYTHING to help boost the morale from the dungeons!! It is hard work and can be emotionally exhausting and noone can do it alone, but if you can get others to work with you it will all be worth it!! Good luck to you in your quest for happiness!!!
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    If you notice it is usually one or two people who prevail at the negative attitude that pulls the rest into their mindset. There usually isnt anything that will make these few negative people positive because their whole life is negative. Its actually a matter of pulling the ones who seem to be following the bad lead of a few back into reality with a little bit of support. Encourage, inquire whether they need help, offer assistance whenever you can.. The negative ones will be left to fin for themselves and eventually will leave or change their stance on the situation.
    We recently had one of our most negative people leave,, needless to say its been a breath of fresh air to not have her negative attitude souring the other newer nurses. Things are actually slowly coming back to "normal".
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    We have monthly pot lucks, warm fuzzy celebrations, always end meetings on a positive note, rather than on a negitive. We try to help the "doom and gloomers" maintain a more positive attitude by telling them that they are doing such a good job and we thank each other alot daily. We try to keep smiling when venting about what a bad day we are having and remind each other it could be worse. And we tell the negitive ones, that the grass isn't always greener. Sometimes it is very hard, but our unit tries very hard to have fun and deliver great patient care. We buy each other treats when no one has time for a lunch break and someone runs to the vending machine and gets the most stressed a treat. We try to remain upbeat all the time. Overall it does help out morale.






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    I have to sadly admit to being a very negative person to work with at this time. The poor working conditions have the majority to do with it and I am in facting looking to leave this facility. I had to confess the other day that I was not even able to fake liking my job at this facility because I was so miserable there. This is the first position that I have found myself hating. Unfotunately it is taking longer than expected to transfer out of this particular facility but I am trying not to quit because the sister hospital is fantastic (I worked there in the past) It's hard to be positive when you see so much unethical, unprofessional behavior occuring. The one thing I see at my current job that makes me smile is there is an individual that cooks for the entire unit once a month just because. It is never anything spectacular but I think it is so thoughtful that this person goes out of their way. I love the ideas ranchwife had. I hope you have success at your facility and I will continue to attempt to keep my negative comments to myself as I do realize they affect everyone around.


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