At William Osler Health System (Osler), the Osler Strong flags flying at its sites pay tribute to the resilience, strength, and commitment of a talented workforce that has persevered through two of the toughest years in health care history to provide exceptional care to the community.
Working in an industry historically challenged by staffing shortages, Osler has taken significant steps to create a respectful, inclusive and values-driven work environment that supports the health and wellbeing of its team members while instilling a passion for innovation and excellence, and opportunities for education and advancement. Taking care of its teams allows staff to focus on what they do best – caring for patients and the community.
To help relieve the stress and emotional impacts that come with working in health care, Osler offers quarterly, interdisciplinary Schwartz Rounds – one-hour virtual forums that offer an open, honest and safe space to candidly share ideas, thoughts and feelings.
To provide a physical space for solace and on-site resources for staff at work, Osler’s Respite and Wellbeing Program was launched with support from Osler Foundation to help build staff, physician and volunteer resilience – read more about this program below.
In support of its commitment to create and maintain a respectful workplace that embraces equity, diversity, inclusion and antidiscrimination, Osler launched two key strategic projects advancing this work: the Respectful Workplace Program and Anti-Discrimination Core Action Group. Osler also hosts regular virtual forums to learn about caring for patients and families’ diverse needs. In 2021, Osler was recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the ninth year in a row.
Deeply committed to ongoing learning, Osler has programs in place to support staff tuition reimbursement and leadership development. From a nursing perspective, the organization has recently welcomed over 90 preceptors – experienced practitioners who facilitate learning for newly hired staff, and is investing time and resources in those interested in specializing their nursing practice.
Adapting to shifts in the health care sector job market, Osler hosts monthly virtual hiring fairs, offering prospective candidates a more personalized experience beyond simply submitting a resume. Applicants have the opportunity to connect directly with Osler’s Talent Acquisition team to discuss their qualifications, interests and career goals, and with hiring managers to interview for suitable opportunities.
“We have amazing technology, experienced physicians, state-of-the-art facilities, supportive management and a diverse, thriving community to care for. Truly, I would not go anywhere else,” said Otello Jamieson, Registered Nurse, Cardiac Procedure Unit.
Osler is proud to support its health care heroes, to stay Osler Strong.
Building Resilience Through Community Support
Since March 2020, hospitals have had to adapt and evolve at unprecedented rates in response to the global pandemic. The communities that Osler hospitals serve have been among the hardest hit – their front line teams have cared for some of the highest numbers of COVID-19 patients in Ontario.
Although health care workers are experienced, trained to be resilient, committed to their patients and dedicated to their profession, the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone. That is why, in early 2021, William Osler Health System Foundation (Osler Foundation) launched a Compassion Fund with a goal of raising $1 million to help support the most urgent wellness and respite needs of staff, physicians and volunteers.
With the support of the Compassion Fund, William Osler Health System (Osler) implemented a Respite and Wellbeing Program that offers a wide array of services and supports for Osler teams, as they continue working around the clock providing exceptional care to the community.
This program includes outdoor yoga classes, mindfulness moments, and Employee Family Assistance Counselling. In addition, dedicated Respite Rooms are available at each of Osler’s hospital sites where staff can go for beverages, treats, wellness resources, or some quiet time. Managers can also sign out Compassion Carts packed with snacks and drinks to bring to their teams during their shifts. It’s small actions, like these, that have a big impact on teams, with many staff sharing their gratitude for the program and its support during challenging times.
As Osler looks toward the future and continues to build back from the pandemic, nothing is more important than having quality health care close to home. Visit oslerfoundation.org today to make a donation to Osler Foundation’s Build Back, Together campaign and help ensure our health care heroes have the essential surgical equipment they need to meet the increasing demand from our growing community.