It’s no secret that healthcare jobs can be quite stressful, and the global coronavirus pandemic only served to exacerbate tension and stress among employees in this sector. Pushed to their limits, healthcare workers may feel as if they can no longer handle the job, leading them to feel burned out. Consequently, healthcare workers approaching burnout may find themselves deciding to switch careers.
Read on for insight into why healthcare workers can get burned out and how they can better manage their feelings about it.
What is Burnout?
Burnout occurs when employees experience chronic stress in the workplace, leading them to experience negative feelings, exhaustion, and distance from their duties. They also report a reduction in their efficiency in the healthcare environment. Being aware of the potential for burnout is especially crucial for workers who are pursuing interim healthcare careers.
Consequences of Healthcare Worker Burnout
Healthcare professionals experiencing burnout should know there are physical symptoms to keep in mind. Workers with burnout might report a greater need for sleep or cannot get the restorative sleep they need.
The stress involves them clenching their jaws and grinding their teeth when they do manage to fall asleep. Workers also risk high blood pressure, depression, problems with interpersonal relationships, and making mistakes on the job.
Methods to Avoid Burnout
Healthcare workers have a variety of tools to help them avoid burnout and lead a life that’s less stressful.
- Observe how you’re feeling emotionally: Select a particular time every week to “check in” with yourself about your emotional status. Assess your energy level on a scale of 1-10. Keep track of your feelings, and if you notice your energy level is decreasing over time, it’s probably time to take a vacation so you can get back into balance.
- Understand what’s out of your control at work: When pressure-filled situations arise at work, be aware of what you can control, so you avoid wasting energy and time on things you can’t change.
- Keep moving: Maintain a regular exercise schedule. Movement helps you get rid of stress, which is major source of burnout.
- Be aware of the signs of potential burnout: Increased feelings of irritability, more conflict with family or friends, heightened changes in your mood, and issues with your sleep or appetite can point to a looming burnout.
- Get together with family and friends: Connecting with loved ones will break you out of any tendency to withdraw when feeling exhausted because of work pressures. It’s a good idea to schedule times to get together rather than meeting randomly.
Maintaining a Proportional Work-life Balance
It’s clear that healthcare professionals need to pay attention to their stress level and remain aware of high-pressure work situations that could lead to them feeling burned out.
Stress reduction techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, can be beneficial. Working out regularly and keeping up with a self-care routine can also help ward off burnout. Workers will want to take days off periodically and use their vacation time every year too, lest they feel overwhelmed with their duties.
Healthcare workers should keep their appointments with their own doctors to maintain good mental and physical health as part of their self-care tasks.
By focusing on maintaining balance between work and the rest of their lives, medical workers can stay on the job and thrive instead of feeling that they need to leave their chosen profession because of concerns about continuing on the healthcare career path due to burnout.