Wellness initiatives can start in the medical library

Wellness initiatives are not always yoga or nutrition advice or Zumba classes. They can also be filling clinicians’ requests or solving their problems. I first realized this when a social worker included receiving full-text articles that she requested as part of her presentation about wellness.

As the director of a health sciences library, my role is to help manage the educational needs of the hospital. To assess need, I hold hour-long, in-person conversations with leaders and influencers from every department and unit. Doctors need to pass board exams and teach residents. Nurses need to study for certifications and get CE credits.

These assessments are the beginning of a wellness initiative. (One nurse even described the conversation as feeling like a therapy session.) The next step is to make purchasing decisions based on their requests for products. The hospital now provides residents with access to MKSAP, surgeons with videos from American College of Surgeons, and pediatricians with access to PEAC pediatrics from Johns Hopkins. Nurses now use CE Direct to fill mandatory requirements and as reviews for med-surg and other certifications.

Many of these products require approvals from the administration and other administrative details, but the library takes care of these details. Clinicians’ simply request the item and then receive access to it two months later.  These products have helped the residents to pass the boards. They have helped nurses to fulfill requirements and even receive raises.

The solutions to these problems have also contributed to the well-being of employees. The chief internal medicine resident described a morale boost. He leads weekly pizza parties reviewing questions and answers, which fosters cooperation and community.

Solving problems is a win-win.

Sheryl Ramer is director, Health Sciences Library, NYC Health + Hospitals, New York City.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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