How an NHS Trust brought mental fitness to healthcare apprentices
Challenges facing healthcare apprentices
Mental health has overtaken back injuries as the principal cause of sickness absence, costing the NHS £371.2m annually. This is due to individual mental wellbeing decline being reacted to, too late.
To prevent this and problems of poor team culture, burnout and staff retention, this NHS Trust wanted to better prepare new health workers for the transition from education to new roles and long shifts within hospitals.
Apprentice health workers have previously reported facing challenges during the transition from learning to entering wards. These challenges include feeling overwhelmed, lacking the confidence to speak up, and dealing with stressful situations.
Fika micro-training software was embedded as part of the formal onboarding for all apprentices. And a series of micro-training courses were introduced over 3 months that focused on connection, confidence and stress management.
“It (Fika) helps us to improve our mindsets... look at situations differently... to reflect on what techniques we can use that work for us. It's good to know that Fika is there to turn to”
Fit to practise
Apprentice health workers developed new skills in confidence, connection and stress management. They also earned Fika certificates for completing training and achieved 100% engagement and completion of the courses.On average, each apprentice completed 67 minutes of mental fitness training, with a focus on improving their communication and stress management skills. This ensured they were mentally fit to practise in frontline healthcare.
In reality, the Fika training ensured the creation of human connections and the skills to maintain them. These are key to promoting health and preventing illness. For healthcare professionals, having strong human connections helps patients in their recovery, reduces stress, reduces the chance of burnout, and improves retention.