Community Stories

‘Walk a Mile in Their Shoes’: Centering nurses’ physical well-being and mental health

We created our National Nurses Week campaign, “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes,'' in partnership with the Dallas Mavericks to give back to the Dallas community and highlight nurses' stories, especially when it comes to mental and emotional wellness.

Designed to bridge the gap between making a difference online and in-person, this week-long event started in Plano, Texas, and extended throughout the U.S., reaching nurses far and wide via our Instagram giveaway.

We envision this event growing in the years to come, becoming a platform where nurses and organizations share strategies for working together and supporting each other — so that they can provide the highest quality care to patients and residents.

Giving back to our local community: Head for the Cure in Plano, Texas

We kicked off “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes” at the Head for the Cure 5K in Plano on Saturday, May 4, flanked by Champ, the Dallas Mavericks Mascot, and the Mavs ManiAACs.

ShiftKey employees from Austin, Cleveland and Atlanta joined our Dallas team to give out merch, walk and run in the 5K, and interview local nurses (some were even independent professionals who use ShiftKey!) so that we could share their healthcare stories during National Nurses Week.

The Mavericks ManiAACs and mascot Champ energized the runners and cheered them on as they crossed the finish line, while the Mavs and ShiftKey provided Ruthie’s for Good’s delicious fare to all event guests. After the 5K, families and survivors of brain cancer shared heartbreaking, heartwarming stories of struggle and triumph during the awards ceremony.

Dr. Elizabeth Maher, professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Department of Neurology, member of the Division of Hematology and Oncology, Director of Translational Research, and the Director of the Crystal Charity Ball Center for Pediatric Brain and Neurological Diseases at UT Southwestern, gave an impassioned speech. Over and over, she said, “We will WIN!,” and thanked Head for the Cure for raising money to support vital brain cancer research for more than 20 years.

As sponsors of the event, ShiftKey and the Mavs had the fortune of giving out Head for the Cure’s Healthcare Heroes awards. With those awards, we provided each winner with a gift card to use toward Clove shoes, designed specifically for healthcare workers. Mavs Mascot Champ gave each winner their award and posed for photos, and CMO of ShiftKey Facilities Marti Bowman asked all the healthcare workers to stand and thanked them for their work — to a resounding round of applause.

Giving back online: Our National Nurses Week Clove shoe giveaway

On Monday, May 6, we began our Instagram giveaway in honor of National Nurses Week. To thank nurses for their dedication to their calling and willingness to serve those in need, we gave away 100 Clove gift cards through our partnership with the Mavs. On our Instagram page, we shared healthcare stories from nurses across the country and featured independent professionals who use ShiftKey to work on their terms.

We created "Walk a Mile in Their Shoes" not only to honor nurses for the invaluable service they provide but also to shed light on one of the biggest challenges they face: burnout.

The comments we received during our giveaway added a personal dimension to what we’ve learned over the past year about how the healthcare industry affects its workers.

It’s more important than ever to ensure nurses have the flexibility they need

In our “Solutions to Healthcare Burnout Report,” we uncovered that 94% of healthcare workers have made “significant personal sacrifices” for their work. Of those, 96% have missed at least one major event due to work commitments: 73% have missed major holidays, 73% have missed birthdays, 45% have missed vacations, 43% have missed anniversaries, 38% have missed weddings, and 34% have missed graduations. One in three have even had to miss funerals (33%).

Making major sacrifices, especially when it comes to family, contributes to burnout, as 82% of nurses say spending quality time with family is the No. 1 way they manage stress. This is why flexibility is critical to their mental and physical well-being. One giveaway entrant said: “I am getting cancer treatment and love how you can pick up shifts when you feel like it. Absolutely love ShiftKey!!”

Our app enables facilities to connect with nurses like this, who cannot adhere to a traditional schedule but are still able to work. Many of these nurses are experienced. In the survey behind our Empowered Workforce Report, we found that nearly half (49%) of the healthcare workers who use the ShiftKey app have more than 10 years of experience in the healthcare field. One Instagram commenter confirmed that, saying that their friend would: “Love to walk a mile in your shoes as an independent contractor working in healthcare for 19 years with many more miles to walk.”

Senior care leaders understand that flexibility is a key nurse retention strategy

In the same survey, 53% of ShiftKey users said “being their own boss” made it possible for them to resume their healthcare career. Senior care leaders are listening. Flexibility emerged as a pivotal strategy in our “Senior Care Survey Report: Workforce 360,” based on survey results from 1,700 industry leaders.

As the skilled nursing industry continues to face workforce shortages, leaders are looking for solutions. Forty-one percent of the leaders we surveyed for our report said that offering more scheduling flexibility would help them retain more employees, and 40% said investing in technology that supports them in doing so is crucial.

We remain committed to providing technology that empowers nurses to work on their terms

In addition to receiving appreciation during National Nurses Week, healthcare workers need year-round support. Burnout, as we’ve mentioned before, is a systemic problem expected to become a public health crisis in the years ahead. The workforce shortage contributes to burnout, as healthcare workers are often so passionate about their career that they wouldn’t consider another — even in light of the daily challenges they face. Prioritizing nurses’ mental and physical well-being is the cornerstone of the collaboration between ShiftKey and the Dallas Mavericks.

As the nation continues to grapple with solutions to the workforce shortage and healthcare worker burnout, ShiftKey will continue to provide healthcare workers (and facilities) with the power of choice. We’ll also continue to highlight solutions that both healthcare professionals and organizations can implement to support their health and well-being, as well as the health and well-being of their patients and residents. To learn more about healthcare worker burnout, along with how you can support yourself or your team, download our resource, “Top 10 Ways to Combat Staff Burnout in Your Community.”