Medical Grade, Premium Standing Solutions Drastically Improve Employee Comfort, Support, Productivity and Morale While Reducing Fatigue, Stress and Ailments | By Amy Hester, PhD, RN, BC, FAAN, Chairwoman and CEO, HD Nursing, & Daniel Bouzide, Founder and President, WellnessMats

Summation

  • Moreover, the cycle of fatigue contributes to nagging ailments, sick days, long and short-term injuries as well as a higher turnover rate, adding pressure to an already strained healthcare environment and disrupting the continuity of patient care.
  • Occupational fatigue in the healthcare sector impacts not just the well-being and efficiency of medical professionals across the board, but also their ability to perform tasks with the necessary precision and care that is required.
  • With reports indicating that up to 70% of healthcare workers are experiencing high stress and burnout, industry observers are concerned that these issues are not only taking a toll on personal health but are also hindering patient care.

Occupational fatigue in the healthcare sector impacts not just the well-being and efficiency of medical professionals across the board, but also their ability to perform tasks with the necessary precision and care that is required. The healthcare environment, known for its high stakes and demanding nature, cannot afford the lapses in performance and attention to detail brought on by fatigue.

This issue is particularly pronounced among nurses, who face intense physical and mental demands in their day-to-day roles.

The Rising Challenge of Occupational Fatigue in Healthcare

With reports indicating that up to 70% of healthcare workers are experiencing high stress and burnout, industry observers are concerned that these issues are not only taking a toll on personal health but are also hindering patient care. The physically demanding nature of healthcare work, characterized by long hours, night shifts and the emotional toll of patient care, places an enormous burden on all personnel – particularly nursing professionals. In this pressured environment, replete with labor shortages and employee retention difficulties, the introduction of cost-effective, medical-grade anti-fatigue mats as a premium standing solution helps hospitals, healthcare systems and facilities to effectively address these challenges. A comprehensive analysis, encompassing a wide range of studies, sheds light on the extent of this challenge:

Prevalence of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs)

A significant review found that a staggering 77.2% of nurses experience WMSDs within a year. This high incidence rate highlights the physical strain of nursing duties, which often include extended periods of standing, and underscores the need for effective interventions.

Impact on Physical and Mental Health

The disorders most commonly affect the lower back, legs, neck and shoulders, indicating the areas most at risk due to the physical demands of nursing. Beyond physical discomfort, these conditions profoundly impact the mental health of nurses, emphasizing the dual facets of occupational fatigue.

Association with Medication Administration Errors (MAEs)

Further analysis from thirty-eight studies indicates that fatigue is a contributing factor to MAEs and near misses. This association is troubling, given that such errors pose a grave threat to patient safety and reflect the critical need to address fatigue in healthcare settings.

Cognitive Performance and Patient Safety

The link between occupational fatigue and reduced cognitive performance — including attention and vigilance — is directly associated with poor nursing performance. This connection further emphasizes the risk that tired healthcare professionals pose to patient safety.

Enhancing Healthcare Environments with Ergonomic, Premium Anti-Fatigue Mats

Premium Anti-Fatigue mats offer a profound solution to these challenges, symbolizing a tangible expression of management’s concern for the health of professionals. Designed for the high-traffic nature of medical settings, these mats are engineered to encourage subtle leg movements, boosting circulation and alleviating pressure on the joints and spine.

This innovation not only minimizes fatigue but also plays a crucial role in preventing chronic musculoskeletal disorders, significantly reported by nursing professionals. Moreover, the cycle of fatigue contributes to nagging ailments, sick days, long and short-term injuries as well as a higher turnover rate, adding pressure to an already strained healthcare environment and disrupting the continuity of patient care.

Furthermore, the psychological benefits of working in a more comfortable and thoughtfully designed space are immense. Such improvements convey a strong message of appreciation to the workforce, leading to increased morale, higher job satisfaction and a stronger commitment to patient care.

The Importance of Choosing Professional Ergonomic Solutions

In distinguishing between professional-grade ergonomic, Premium Standing Solutions and inferior products, it’s critical to understand that not all mats are created equal.

Professional ergonomic mats are designed with healthcare settings in mind, incorporating antimicrobial properties essential for maintaining sterile conditions. In contrast, underperforming mats may harbor bacteria and offer insufficient support, posing risks rather than providing benefits.

What to look for:

  • Choose a “Best-in-Class” Premium anti-fatigue product
  • Complete comfort and support wherever one stands
  • Superior durability and longevity
  • Smooth, sealed surface and bottom with antimicrobial properties
  • A Warranty that reduces mat replacement
  • Professional Grade Construction that guarantees the beveled edges will never curl reducing dangerous trip hazards
  • Meticulous craftsmanship that ensures the mats will never separate and always maintain their buoyancy
  • Commitment to “Made in the USA” construction
  • Exemplary performance throughout various industries
  • Example: WellnessMats are regarded as the gold standard for almost 30 years

Prioritizing Employee Well-being as a Strategic Healthcare Investment

Allocating resources towards enhancing employee well-being is a strategic decision that addresses immediate and long-term challenges. This approach not only mitigates worker fatigue but also reduces the broader financial and operational costs associated with high employee turnover and patient safety incidents. Providing Premium Anti-Fatigue Mats is often the most economical way to minimize these avoidable expenses. By prioritizing investments in the work environment, healthcare leaders can foster a positive culture that respects and values the contributions of nursing professionals, leading to significant improvements in patient care.

Acknowledging the complex interplay between various factors contributing to occupational fatigue is the first step, Healthcare institutions can begin to develop effective strategies to safeguard the well-being of their workforce and enhance the quality of patient care.

Beyond physical interventions, addressing the ergonomic challenges in healthcare necessitates a multifaceted approach. This includes ergonomic assessments, training and systemic changes to manage workloads and promote a culture of safety. By investing in comprehensive wellness strategies, healthcare facilities demonstrate a deep commitment to their staff’s well-being, enhancing team cohesion, morale and ultimately, patient care quality.

Looking Forward: A Call to Action for Healthcare Leaders

The integration of medical-grade anti-fatigue mats into healthcare settings is more than an ergonomic intervention: it’s a visible sign of an institution’s dedication to the well-being of its employees and the safety of its patients. This decision reflects an understanding of the intricate link between the health of the workforce and the quality of patient care delivered. By adopting such innovative solutions, healthcare leaders take a crucial step toward creating a healthier, more productive and resilient healthcare environment.

Incorporating these ergonomic solutions, grounded in evidence-based best practices for patient safety, not only addresses the pressing issue of occupational fatigue among healthcare workers but also advances the standards of patient care. By focusing on the health and well-being of healthcare workers, facilities not only improve their operational performance but also demonstrate a firm commitment to excellence in patient care.
Healthcare management teams can provide these standing solutions as a way of demonstrating their appreciation of the tireless work performed by employees. Professionals will appreciate the unmatched comfort, support and durability of these products which translates into improved employee safety, productivity and morale.

Premium Standing Solutions
Amy Hester, PhD, RN, BC, FAAN, chairwoman and CEO, HD Nursing

About Dr. Amy Hester, PhD, RN, BC, FAAN, Chairwoman and CEO, HD Nursing: Amy has 25 years of nursing experience including over a decade of med/surge and neuro nursing followed by unit management and hospital administration. In 2015, she earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science and has since published and spoken extensively on the subject of falls and injury prediction and prevention. She retired from UAMS in 2018 after 26 years of service to dedicate her time fully to HD Nursing. She is adjunct faculty at UAMS College of Nursing. As an entrepreneur, she mentors others to help them with their own endeavors. Amy also serves as the Chair of the HD Nursing Board of Directors.

& Daniel Bouzide, founder and president, WellnessMats

About Daniel Bouzide, founder and president, WellnessMats: A self-driven entrepreneur dating back to the 1980’s, Daniel Bouzide has always had a passion for innovative business opportunities. While not every venture has turned to gold, most have been successful, enjoyable, and highly educational. Determination and resiliency, coupled with creativity, have always been the driving factors to Daniel’s success.

In 2005, Daniel founded Smart Step Therapeutic Flooring. He saw a tremendous void in the ergonomic standing category whereas better/best products were simply not available. As a one-man operation, he started a Michigan-Based company and began selling the best anti-fatigue mat on the marketplace.

The initial successes came quickly, and soon a professional sales team followed. In 2007, Smart Step merged with Meramec, the USA-based Manufacturer in Missouri and formed American Pro Marketing. This partnership has proven tremendously successful and has allowed both parties to soar as corporate America began understanding and appreciating the values in Premium Standing Solutions.

To date, the American Pro Marketing Brands that include Smart Step, WellnessMats and others, are the leaders in the Premium Anti-Fatigue Mat Category. With eight divisions, APM proudly produces 1.2 million Premium Standing Solutions each year in St. Louis, MO.

 

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