An inclusive healthcare organization is more than just an HR concept. The lack of an inclusive workforce culture in medical organizations can negatively impact the quality of care provided by impeding scientific inquiry. As several studies have shown, it can keep patients of color and LGBT individuals from actively seeking medical help due to fear of discrimination and ostracization, and thus compromise public health. On the work floor, individual biases from colleagues, micro-aggression rooted in racial, cultural or gender differences, and the absence of systemic remedies can erode a healthcare professional's sense of value and subject them to further stress than they already face on the job.
Though most clinicians check for the benefits, perks, vacation time, opportunities and incentives before signing the dotted line and taking up a new job, very few of them make it a priority to check how the organization ensures inclusion. Given the deep significance of an inclusive work culture for a clinician's career, we decided to come up with a few pointers that can help clinicians identify an inclusive healthcare organization before they can take up an offer. In this article, we share our learning.
A truly inclusive workplace will target diverse groups of talent and try to onboard them by stating inclusivity as an employee value proposition. A look at their hiring marketing campaigns will tell you if they welcome candidates from all walks of life. Employers that participate in various community outreach programs and job fairs, and engage with companies like DirectShifts for their hiring process are more likely to be inclusive because they try to align themselves with entities that work with diverse talents.
Language can create connections and build relationships. It is also equally capable of creating barriers and impacting one's sense of belonging. If you are visiting the facility in person for a meeting, check if they have multi-language signage. An inclusive healthcare organization will have multi-language signage that signals that all are welcome here, and also remind other clinicians and employees that they are a part of a larger world, regardless of the language spoken. The usage of non-gendered pronouns is a way to check the inclusivity of an organization. In fact, a recent report by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) nudged schools to teach medical students to establish an inclusive clinical encounter by asking patients what pronouns they use, no matter how they appear. This shows the importance of the usage of non-gendered pronouns, especially in a healthcare setting.
The inclusiveness of an organization can also show up in the architecture and layout of the organization. An inclusive healthcare employer will have lactation rooms for nursing mothers, prayers and meditation spaces, gender-neutral restrooms for the non-binary, and more.
Learn about how the healthcare organization handles grievances and the mechanisms they have in place to resolve them. You can ask if they have a diversity task force and whom does it comprise. A diversity task force must be well represented by employees from varied backgrounds and must serve as the place to report non-inclusive behavior. What actions do they take if someone raises their voice against bias or discrimination? If someone is hypersensitive, do they still appreciate the courage it takes to bring forward an uncomfortable issue?
While it is not easy to measure inclusivity, the points mentioned above may help you reflect and make the right decision about choosing your employer. We, at DirectShifts, are proud to have consistently partnered with inclusive healthcare organizations. Sign-up now to find your dream job with an employer who values where you come from.