Nova Scotia

Capital Health staff stressed but motivated

Employees of Nova Scotia's largest health district are stressed and distrustful of management, but generally like their jobs, according to a survey.
Capital Health will survey its employees in two years to see if anything changes. ((CBC file))

Workers at Nova Scotia's largest health district are stressed and distrustful of management, but generally like their jobs, according to a survey.

Capital Health surveyed its employees in January. The results, released Thursday, suggest that managers have work to do.

"Generally, you see a trend where there's a high degree of trust and respect for their colleagues and an extremely low degree of trust and respect for management," said Dr. Brendan Carr, vice-president of medicine.

About half of the 11,000 employees responded to the survey. Around 95 per cent reported high levels of pride in their work, while 72 per cent said they were satisfied with their job.

But 39 per cent of the respondents were unhappy with their workload and 32 per cent reported low trust in management.

"I think everyone in every department feels that," said Nicki Davis, a Capital Health employee for 10 years.

Burnout is even more of an issue among doctors. More than half of the district's 1,000 doctors responded to the survey, and 52 per cent said they're unhappy with workload. About 62 per cent reported an unfavourable work-life balance.

Dr. Brendan Carr says some of the district's 'systems' are to blame. ((CBC))

"Some of it is out of our control," said Carr. "Some of it is because of the organization, the customs, the systems we have in place."

Managers across the hospital system will be asked to come up with solutions. A survey will be carried out in two years to determine if anything has improved.

Dawn Burstall, director of the healthy workplace program, said patients may see a difference.

"The whole experience is going to be different with a more satisfied, happy, healthy people providing that care," she said.

now