We all know that doctors, nurses, and other health care workers strive to ensure the health and wellness of their patients. But what about the health and wellness of the health care workers? They may work long shifts, endure highly stressful situations, and be overworked. Those factors may contribute to cardiovascular disease, obesity, and other diseases.
Recognizing the importance of the health and wellness of their workers, some medical facilities are now actively taking measures to improve the health and wellness of their staff . The Cleveland Clinic is one such example.
The Cleveland Clinic has an Employee Wellness Program designed to promote optimal health and wellness of their employees (ClevelandClinic.org, 2011). The program offers a Health Risk Assessment that provides employees with information about their current health status and ways to improve their health. There are three fitness centers on site and discounts are offered for 23 other fitness facilities. Each month a different wellness speaker is featured for employees to learn about improving health. There is even have a wellness lottery that rewards good health with prizes such as dinners and event tickets.
To promote healthy lifestyles, improve work-life, and reduce stress, the clinic provides a few other benefits. On-site childcare provides flexible hours to easily accommodate nursing and other shift schedules. An Employee Assistance Program provides any needed counseling. The main campus has a farmer’s market. And because exercise is important, a program called Cleveland Clinic Walks helps employees participate in walks on-site and around the community.
The clinic offers lifestyle management programs, including weight loss, relaxation, healthy eating, and a smoking cessation program. The Clinic boasts five different methods to help employees quit smoking. The Clinic is so intent on promoting a healthy environment for employees that since 2005 the campus is 100% smoke free. In 2007 the Clinic stopped hiring smokers altogether.
Cleveland Clinic Chief Wellness officer, Dr. Michael Roizen, illustrates how the Clinic takes health of employees so seriously that they banned trans fats from the cafeterias. Check out a video in which Dr. Roizen discusses healthy eating, the 48 deep fryers the Clinic now selling, and how eating healthier makes “you more competitive for a job and [you will] make America more job competitive” (News Harold, 2012).
Here is a link to the Cleveland Clinic’s wellness Institute, which has programs available to the community as well.
Promoting the health and wellness among health care employees is certain to improve the working environment for workers and also the patients they serve. This trend is likely to spread to more health care facilities. If you work in health care, does your employer offer programs to promote health and wellness of employees at work? Do you think that not hiring smokers is a positive move or that it is unfair?