#Goodvibes: Improving staff moral in the Emergency Department

Andrea Lazo1, Amelia Rich1, Amanda Riley1
Emergencey Department, Box Hill Hospital

#Goodvibes: Recognition of the little things, can mean big things for staff morale in the Emergency Department. The unique combination of conflicting priorities such as patient acuity, KPI’s and department expectations has been documented to leave staff feeling burnt out, exhausted and sometimes undervalued. This is where #GoodVibes comes in to make a change. This has occurred through acknowledging the actions, dedications and the little things we do for one another.

Clerical, nursing, medical, PSA’s, security, volunteers and ISS cleaning services have all been brought together through recognising each other’s efforts through regular peer “shout outs” to thank each other for their help and support. Since conception in 2016, there has been over 700 documented shout outs.

As a unified team, we all want the same goals and that is to provide the best quality health care and well-being to our patients. With recognition for our accomplishments from our peers, we are able to come together and create a collaborative and positive team. Our team work is reflected in our patient’s outcome, and our greatest desire to become the best health professionals we can be.

This straightforward, inexpensive model of peer support has been evidenced to be adapted to other areas of nursing. #GoodVibes has the potential to increase a positive work place culture in emergency departments across Australia.

Shout out to those that make your work place great. Shout out to your colleagues who you appreciate. Shout out to those who work tirelessly. Shout out to make someone smile.

A thematic analysis of good vibes communicates that actions most appreciated involve unique skill sets. These include escalation of deteriorating patient, deescalating aggression, willingness to assist with any activity and the show of friendship and support in any situation.

A small thanks can have a big impact.

Low investment, high returns, high staff retention rate.


#GoodVibes is an initiative pioneered by Amelia Rich, Andrea Lazo and Amanda Riley since 2016 that has united staff in the Box Hill Emergency Department. This has occurred through acknowledging the actions, dedications and the little things staff do for one another. This leads to an increase in staff morale.

The authors of this presentation are Critical Care Registered Nurses who are highly dedicated to not only promoting a positive environment for patients and families, but also staff.
The idea for the project started on an ACEN cruise to Fiji where daily announcements were made and people on board could send a message to someone they knew. It had such a positive effect and everyone cheered when the announcements were heard. This led to the question – could they implement the idea in an emergency department? So they did, and here we are today.