How Sykehuset Østfold uses weekly reflections to boost resilience


Sykehuset Østfold cover

The challenge

New developments in electronic documentation and nursing have improved efficiency and quality of patient care. But one unintended consequence is that nurses spend more time working alone and have limited opportunities to meaningfully connect with their peers. As a result, many nurses don’t feel like part of a team. This isolation has a negative impact on their morale, resilience, teamwork, and sense of professional purpose.

The organization

Sykehuset Østfold is a 633-bed public hospital in the southeastern region of Norway that serves a patient population of 300,000. It has roughly 5,000 employees.

The approach

Leaders at Sykehuset Østfold created weekly forums where all nurses on a unit can come together to share stories and reflect on their clinical experiences as a group. During each weekly 30-minute session, a volunteer shares a personal story about a clinical or professional experience.

The result

Reflection time is now integrated into the weekly routines of nurses at Sykehuset Østfold. All nurses, regardless of shift time, attend at least one 30 minute reflection period per month. The reflection periods have played a key role in boosting teamwork, empathy, and connection to purpose.

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