The Chi Cart ministry

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Health systems are increasingly shifting their focus from employee satisfaction to employee engagement because engagement levels have a significant impact on retention, absenteeism, patient satisfaction, and, ultimately, patient safety.1 Workplace culture and environment are important factors contributing to employee commitment and engagement. Multiple methods have been used to foster employee engagement and retention, including health promotion, nourishment, stress reduction, team building, improving a sense of meaning in one's work, counseling, music, and guided imagery.2-5
Nurse managers are often responsible for creating employee engagement opportunities for their units, yet the outcomes aren't necessarily evaluated.6 Chaplains are often included in programs to enhance staff experiences, as exemplified with Code Lavenders.7 (See Code Lavender.) Studies have shown that a chaplain-led nurse manager support group is associated with low turnover.8
Although hospital leadership views staff care as an important role for chaplains, only 6% to 17% of chaplain visits are geared toward staff care.9,10 Few data have assessed outcomes of chaplains' involvement in hospital staff engagement efforts during the course of day-to-day activities; most focus on less frequent crisis response. Here, we explore how the Mount Sinai Center for Spirituality and Health incorporated elements of chaplaincy crisis support into a unique frontline staff stress reduction intervention and how this program increased employee engagement.
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