“The better we can take care of SickKids Staff, the better we can take care of our patients and families.”
– Laura Alexander, Director, Occupational Health and Safety Services
Our Staff Health and Well-being Strategy, launched in 2022, has a singular focus on staff because we can’t sustainably meet the needs of the children and families we serve without first restoring the physical and mental health and well-being of the SickKids team. Using the strategy as a guide, we are working together to find solutions to reduce overload, model healthy behaviours in our leadership, culture, and daily activities, and create environments where teams and individuals can thrive.
The strategy was quickly followed up with a new Staff Health and Well-being website, a one-stop shop housing all the information and resources available for SickKids staff to take better care of their physical and mental health. The website also includes information about our pioneering Peer Support and Trauma Support Program, which also has the distinction of being awarded a Leading Practice by Health Standards Organization, an affiliate of Accreditation Canada.
Separately, we are working to address staffing challenges and work overload in several areas, particularly nursing, creating a nursing optimization working group and developing a strategy to address RN staffing challenges, and boost recruitment and retention of nurses. SickKids introduced RN clinical externs to our nursing units to enhance nursing capacity, increased student placements, and boosted external marketing showcasing our unique kind of nursing. Concurrently, we have put additional retention initiatives in place, including enhanced benefits and compensation.