Jun 26, 2023
With Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association
Did you know that the week of May 7th‒13th was National Hospital Week? During that week, we pay tribute to our healthcare workers and thank them for their service. Governor Gretchen Whitmer honored our dedicated hospital employees with the following message, “Whether you’re preparing food for patients and staff, providing care at the bedside, doing rounds, performing surgery, or handling critical maintenance needs, the work you do keeps our hospitals safe and makes them more effective.” Although hospitals faced staffing and financial struggles in the past, those challenges have grown significantly since the early days of the pandemic. Faced with the frightening task of containing the deadly outbreak while caring for multitudes of quarantined patients, exhausted healthcare workers were pushed to the brink physically and mentally. With staffing levels already strained, hospital employees were subjected to significantly longer hours with fewer breaks. In addition to the increased threat to their own health and safety, employees may have faced childcare or other family issues resulting from COVID-19-related job loss or illness.
Thankfully, the worst days of the pandemic are behind us, but the aftereffects linger on. Staff shortages continue to plague hospitals and healthcare centers. One of the biggest reasons cited is employee burnout. The ongoing physical, emotional, and mental toll led to a huge increase in early retirement and employee resignations. So, how are local hospitals coping with these issues and what does this mean for the future of Michigan healthcare? If you want to learn the answers to these questions and more, you’ll want to listen to my interview with Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. Brian is here to talk to us about the current state of Michigan Hospitals and explain how the MHA supports our healthcare workers.
What You’ll Hear in This Episode:
What is the Michigan Health & Hospital Association?
How does the MHA advocate for hospitals?
Do most hospitals belong to the Association?
What impact has the pandemic had on hospitals in Michigan?
Are we more prepared for a pandemic than we were in 2020?
How do we encourage more of the younger generation to explore going into nursing and the caregiving industry?
How has the nursing shortage changed partnerships between nursing schools and hospitals?
What are some of the other areas affected significantly by staffing shortages?
What other problems do hospitals currently face?
Why are people so violent against healthcare workers?
How can we ensure the safety of our healthcare employees?
In addition to major hospitals, how does the staffing shortage impact other care facilities such as nursing homes?
If someone wants to contact the MHA, what is the best way to do so?
Working in a hospital can be a very challenging environment. While performing these vital life-affirming jobs, our healthcare employees are on the front lines dealing with patients and their loved ones during the worst and most stressful times in their lives. They may have to treat patients who are delusional, in pain, or simply uncooperative. In addition to the patients themselves, they may encounter family members who are verbally or physically abusive. Just imagine how you would feel if you were physically abused or verbally threatened while you were simply trying to do your job. When we’re in pain or a loved one is ill, it’s important to respect the job of the healthcare workers and remember we are in their care. They have the knowledge and tools to help us recover. We need to let them do their job. Remember that every day is a gift and the gift of health and recovery is wholly dependent upon our healthcare workers. So take a moment to remember how hard they are working to help us and don’t forget to thank them for all that they do and the sacrifices they may be making. I’m Florine Mark and that’s “Today’s Takeaway.”
“Our hospitals, whether large or small, urban or rural, have been through an incredible challenge these last few years. And we’re so incredibly proud of the work that they do every single day 24/7, 365, to care for all Michiganders.” — Brian [3:26]
“We really do a number of things that can promote the health and well-being of our staff and the patients they serve.” — Brian [4:06]
“When we walk into the governor’s office, or a state senator or representative’s office, we can legitimately say we are here as the voice of the entire field.” — Brian [5:07]
“Efficiency is the enemy of preparedness.” — Brian [8:18]
“I think we have to have a serious conversation about the financial viability of the rest of the healthcare infrastructure versus the pharmaceutical industry.” — Brian [18:38]
“We’re really doing whatever we possibly can to create the best possible workplace for our health care providers.” — Brian [23:55]
Brought to You By:
Mentioned in This Episode: