There’s no doubt that those who work in healthcare are passionate about what they do. No matter what line of health care they’re in, healthcare professionals love nothing more than helping people and making them feel better if they’re dealing with some kind of pain or illness.
But a harsh truth of working in healthcare is that it’s a very tough job and it’s very demanding and a startling statistic is that more than 40% of physicians are burned out.
If you’re a physician and you’re feeling like you’re more than just a bit tired, it is quite possible that you might be suffering from burnout. How can you tell? These three signs might be able to clue you in:
- Emotional drainage: Even with some time off you feel drained after a day at the office, feeling your energy level slowly sag.
- A decrease in sense of accomplishment: Even if you’re super passionate about what you do, you find yourself question what the point of it all is.
- Depersonalization: Your job is to help and care for patients, but instead you find yourself feeling negative about your patients and you may find yourself complaining about them to your co-workers. This can also commonly be referred to as compassion fatigue.
So what can you do to combat burnout? Well for starters, doctor’s offices can reduce frustration and mental fatigue by using family medicine check-in software to help patients. The benefits of medical software such as family medicine check-in software are numerous and are meant to focus specifically on family health care needs. Some kinds of family medicine check-in software is cloud-based which allows healthcare workers to easily access a patient’s medical files, make sure billing is taken care of correctly and keep better track of lab orders. With family medicine check-in software, paperless digital check-in software and electronic document management systems, no longer do doctor’s offices have to have stacks of files to paw through and keep track of.
So, what can physicians do to save themselves from burnout? There are actually many remedies, which include:
- Taking a deep breath: Using this method is almost like squeezing a stress ball. You take a big, deep breath and hold it for at least three seconds. When you exhale, let it out slowly and deliberately, erasing all the tension you feel from head to toe.
- Find balance: In any line of work, it’s important to find some semblance of work-life balance. Understandably, this can be easier said than done, but it can and should be done.
One to refill your “emotional bank account” is try and focus on relationships. That may be with your parents or significant other or even with a long-lost friend. Grab your date-book or the calendar on your phone and schedule a date with whomever you’re trying to reconnect with or spend more time with. Even if it’s a 15-minute phone call, you’re planting the seeds for future connection.
- Find the joy of work: Think back over the last month or so of your time on the job. Was there an experience that you particularly enjoyed, that made you remember why you love your job? If there was such an experience, jot it down somewhere. Before you start your day, read the notes you took or remember what that feeling was like. Aim to experience that feeling as you go forward with your day.
The old cliché goes “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” This may be true, but even if you’re extremely passionate about what you do, everyone needs a break now and then. By finding ways to relax and find balance and rediscover the joys of your job, you’ll be able to keep that passion burning strong and you’ll stay focused on helping your patients feel better.