Grapevine - Colleyville - Southlake | June 2022



Traveling nurses To help ll gaps in the workforce, hospitals have tapped into sup- plemental stang through agen- cies, something Zolnierek said hospitals have done on a smaller scale for decades. Zolnierek said traveling nurses, or agency nurses, can often earn twice as much as staed nurses because of the shorter assignments. That practice not only puts strain on the hospitals, but can also create resentment among the nurses, she said. “It became a vicious cycle where nurses were leaving hospitals to travel because they could make more money and have dierent experiences and travel to dierent places,” Zolnierek said. “In turn, it made the shortage in hospitals worse. So it increased the demand, which made the rates go up, which attracted more nurses to go to traveling [nursing] rather than stay in their hospitals.” Traveling nurses have been invalu- able through the pandemic and will continue to be, Love said. “We’re not faulting nurses for want- ing to have that mobility, the ability to

travel or to [become traveling nurses] for their personal economic point of view,” he said. Focus on mental health With the high demands and trauma that nurses have experienced during the pandemic, both Love and Zol- nierek said burnout has become a serious concern. “We’ve seen increased suicide among many dierent health care professions, and there’s an increasing attention beyond burnout,” Zolnierek said. A study done in 2019, before the pandemic, from the National Acad- emies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found that “up to 54% of nurses and physicians and 60% of medical students and residents in the U.S. have symptoms of burnout—high emotional exhaustion, depersonaliza- tion or low sense of personal accom- plishment from work.” Many professional groups, such as the Texas Nurses Association, as well as hospitals and the Texas Hospital Association, are paying attention to health care workers’ mental health,

Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Grapevine is supporting nurses with several programs and benets.

The Baylor Scott & White Nursing Institute oers: • mentoring and succession planning; • nurse recognition; • information about certications; and • an emphasis on research and best nursing practices.

Zolnierek said. The National Academy of Medi- cine has drafted a study on clinicians’ well-being and resilience. The study suggests several changes to help reduce burnout, including investing in more routine assessments of workforce stress and destigmatiz- ing and supporting mental health. The study also recommends institu- tionalizing well-being as a long-term Nursing professional development plans • Nurses are encouraged to discuss career goals with supervisors. • Fellowship programs are available to transition experienced nurses into new care settings. • A nurse scholarship program is oered for nurse scientists. • A dedicated leadership program is in place to grow new nurse leaders into executives.


value and recruiting and retaining a diverse health workforce. “Let’s not wait until we get to burn- out,” Zolnierek said. “We’re looking at how we can support the well-being of our workforce so that they don’t get to that point.”

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