Understanding how to best socialise new staff into our large and complex healthcare system
Many new staff find that their positive expectations around working in Australia’s large public healthcare system are not met in their first few months.
A recent UQ study of new staff (doctors, nurses, allied health, professional staff) joining a large public hospital surveyed them the day they started and six weeks later. We found that there was often a discrepancy between the positive first day beliefs of new staff about what the healthcare practices ought to be and their actual experiences of these practices after 6 weeks of working in a large public hospital. Importantly, the larger this discrepancy was around their positive expectations not being met, the lower after 6 weeks were the levels of identification with the hospital and the sense of trust in hospital practices by these new staff. We conclude that large health care organisations need to very clear about their values, focus and key priorities including effectively communicating these to new staff in the first months of employment.
The aim is to ensure that there are not large discrepancies between expectations and operational realities around patient care and management practices that over time erode away the levels of trust and identification new staff might develop with the healthcare organisation.