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At Geneva University Hospitals, maintaining the health of employees is a priority. The hospitals' staff health service consists of around twenty professionals, including three doctors, seven nurses and a clinical psychologist, offering listening, treatments and advice to employees looking for support.
Their work is mainly preventive, such as the annual vaccination campaign against influenza, during which nurses provide cover across the various departments, day and night. In 2015, this initiative protected 5458 employees against the seasonal virus.
In accordance with federal law, four occupational safety specialists (MSST) joined the staff healthcare service in 2013: an ergonomist, a psychologist specialized in occupational health, an occupational hygienist and a safety engineer. Their mission? To identify risks at the workplace and prevent any harm to the health of employees.
The HUG commission for radiological protection will make sure that training courses are regularly provided, to encourage employees to protect themselves against the risks related to ionising radiation exposure in the medical profession. As such, specialists at the HUG - in collaboration with the Lausanne Institute of Radiation Physics (IRA) - provide such training to staff. These employees are also subject to regular radiation monitoring.
A clinical psychologist is there to answer any concerns about stress, burnout, conflict or personal problems that may interfere with the job. Last year, 114 employees benefited from this support. This professional also works with teams who come across traumatic situations as part of their work: in 2015, it conducted 16 debriefings, offering support to 197 employees.
The HUG are also determined to tackle any threats to personal rights. In the event of problematic labour relations, employees can contact the two psychologists from the Groupe de Protection de la Personnalité (Personal Rights Protection Group). Created in 2010, this independent structure works in confidence and with the agreement of those who request it, to provide individual or collective interventions and solutions. It also conducts awareness campaigns in the various departments.
Obesity is a major public health issue and a priority focus at the HUG. Employees of Geneva University Hospitals are eligible for the HUG Obesity Prevention and Care Program, also available to the general public. As part of this programme, a multidisciplinary team offers anyone overweight or suffering from an eating disorder an individual treatment plan, which may include physical activity and nutritional advice, for example.
The HUG are global pioneers of hand hygiene, a practice that is now widespread thanks to the work of the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has been committed to this cause from the outset. On 5 May 2015, as part of the 10th Global Handwashing Day, the HUG joined forces with other Geneva-based healthcare institutions to carry out an awareness campaign on the canton's roads. Two huge human chains connected around fifteen institutions by bicycle, to promote the WHO slogan "Clean Care is Safer Care".
The HUG also support any employees who want to address a problem of addiction. An action group for Addiction and Alcoholism (GRAAL) offers therapeutic support, which allows the person to seek help while continuing to stay in their job.
Labour Law should be applied in all healthcare settings. Some of its requirements mean finding arrangements that enable medical services to be provided 24/7, while taking into account the constraints of the different departments. A desire to accumulate time in lieu for night and weekend shifts has been expressed by employees concerned, which has been addressed in the development of solutions. A working group, led by the medical director, has been launched to implement solutions to circumstances that still need to be addressed.
employees vaccinated against influenza in 2015