Health systems recruiting retired clinicians to rejoin the workforce

Even after just a few years, clinicians may enter a completely different working environment.

The rapid acceleration of technology can create a barrier, especially for those of the older generation. From the very beginning, Dewey said, the Bayhealth team recognized that it needed to improve its computerized documentation system training to accommodate returning clinicians, giving them more practice sessions and time to learn how to simulate the system’s electronic health records.

The health system often pairs former retirees with a nurse who can take care of the charting and documentation while they deal with other duties and hands-on care.

There’s not much of a cultural conflict between retirees and other nurses, says Dewey. Instead, Bayhealth offers returning clinicians the opportunity to share their experiences from decades of work and provide feedback on areas of activity that need to be tweaked to improve the practice. job. The health system also allows retired nurses to suggest reintroducing procedures that are no longer in place.

“Every generation brings something top-notch,” says Dewey. “What I like most about baby boomers is that they are pack horses. They are riding or dead. Millennials and Gen Z [workers] super good with computers and all that technical stuff. So they played together a little bit.

Dewey said it’s important to consider whether older nurses can stay physically fit due to the heavy walking required at larger hospitals, and whether expectations for the new role are realistic.

“The other thing we had to get creative with was the working hours,” she said. “Usually, nurses work 12-hour shifts and that’s not very appealing to nurses who are about to retire.”

The system has been running 4- to 6-hour shifts for previously retired nurses, scheduling them during peak busy times.

Most returning clinicians at Bayhealth choose to enter the surgical or non-critical care areas, although some have felt comfortable enough to work in the intensive care unit.

“You have to sit down and talk [with them] about what they feel are their strengths,” says Dewey. “Maybe you use them to assess admission or to help [your] Newly graduated nurse [you are] trying to rent. [Maybe you] use them in the skills lab, or with simple things like catheterization and catheterization of the nose or stomach.”

Alana King, senior recruiter on Bayhealth’s talent acquisition team, says that like other clinicians, keeping healthcare professionals coming back requires strong relationships. and strong communication.

“If you can deploy their expertise in a position where they are best used, it’s a win-win,” she said. “They will be happy and more likely to… stay, and possibly increase their hours, if they want to work for us.”


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