Work-Life Blend in Healthcare

October 30, 2008

Work-life balance for women is such a vital issue in healthcare. It impacts the quality of life for the majority of healthcare workers, since 80% are female, and has a direct impact on both clinical quality and operational results. Studer Group conducted the largest study ever on how women in healthcare balance their work and life.  These findings will be released publicly today. I want to bring them to your attention.

Research has proven that lower employee turnover is correlated with shorter lengths of stay and a lower mortality rate.  Dr. Gerald Hickson’s work at Vanderbilt in patient safety and litigation shows that smooth handoffs and good explanations are critical to excellent safety and reducing claims. Staff satisfaction and turnover are the foundation of excellent performance, which is why these study results are so critical.

Here are a few findings based on 7,792 respondents:

  • 75% said they would choose a career in healthcare again.
  • 73% would recommend a career in healthcare to others.
  • 48% are satisfied with their work life, with 23% being very satisfied.
  • 47% are satisfied with their home life, with 28% being very satisfied.
  • 36% are satisfied with their current work life blend with only 9% being very satisfied. A sobering statistic.

The majority of women rarely dedicate time to their own personal and emotional needs. Of note, 46% reported tending to their own needs no more than a few times per year.

45% stated that they experience work-family conflict at least one day or more per week. The following factors were associated with a higher degree of work/family conflict: non-day shift work, mandatory overtime, having children younger than 18 at home, and having caregiving responsibilities for other dependent relatives. Due to the passion and skill of healthcare workers, they are the ones relatives and neighbors turn to in their time of need. Thus, leaders must take extra steps to assist healthcare workers to achieve an improved work-life blend.

The demanding 24-hours-a-day patient care environment, combined with the strong built-in desire to be of service to others, makes being a healthcare leader challenging and demanding.  Leadership is the key component to creating a work place that attracts and retains talent.

Click here to access the full study results as well as recommendations on which tools and techniques will enable you to build and refine a work environment that is a great place to work and therefore a great place to receive care.

Many healthcare organizations are also the largest or second largest employer in the area.  Better places to work means better communities to live in. In these challenging economic times, the organizations that align the human capital best will be those that have the most success both clinically and financially.

Click here to view a complimentary webinar on how to create a culture of work-life blend in your organization.



2 Responses to “Work-Life Blend in Healthcare”


    Yes, it is one area which has been overlooked in the health care industry , 80% of the nurses are women who in the young ages struggle with their personnal life and their professional life , I have been a nurse for 18 yrs , loved my profession , after I had my two kids I have always felt it is a struggle to keep the balance , I often wonder if this noble profession can be given more highlights in our day to day life , and value each and every women who does the enormous double and thribble roles .

  2. Deidre Gruber Says:

    I really enjoyed this article and often strive to create a better work life blend for myself. I would like to comment on how many men in healthcare are often faced with the same dilemma as women. Many are responsible for childcare and eldercare and struggle to maintain the same balance.

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