Over the past year and a half, healthcare providers have been put through the wringer. The stresses of COVID-19, along with unprecedented staffing shortages have created unbearable pressures on many healthcare providers. This has led to high levels of burnout across more than one-half of all U.S. health providers. Finding a balance between work and life is something that every healthcare provider should strive for. But these days that balance is a lot harder to achieve. We’ve pulled together some suggestions to help protect yourself from the daily stresses of the healthcare profession. Here’s how to find balance in your job again.
Finding Work/Life Balance in Healthcare
Most clinical healthcare providers understand the need for a healthy balance of work and home. When work becomes too all-encompassing, burnout creeps in, affecting your mental and physical health. While healthcare workers may be great at taking care of others, they may not have enough in the tank to focus on taking care of themselves. Finding balance requires effort, and we have some tips that may help:
- The first is to know when to ask for help. Reaching out to someone in your peer network or a supervisor that you’re approaching burnout is a good step. If your manager is good, he or she will work with you to find ways to mitigate your stress.
- Next, reevaluate your schedule from the perspective of what can you eliminate? Have you been working longer hours? Are there household demands that you can eliminate or delegate? To regain control of your schedule, and your life, please consider it with a clear eye toward protecting your energy and your health.
- Here’s the reality: You cannot be all things to all people. Learn to say “No.” Relish it. Covering extra shifts at the hospital? No. Volunteering to host a child-related event? Not now. Taking on a committee at daycare or church? Absolutely not. Find space. Then fill that space with activities that rejuvenate your mind and body, even if that means you just take a nap.
- Take your vacations. The work will still be there when you return. Americans regularly fail to take 700 million hours of vacation annually. The U.S. Travel Association reports 52% of Americans fail to use all of their vacation each year. Vacation guilt is often an issue in the healthcare space, where lives depend on your presence. The problem is that burnout is a real clinical phenomenon and it leads to medical mistakes. If you’re so exhausted you can’t perform, you will be no good to anyone, including yourself.
- One last tip: Really take your vacation. We how that the majority of Americans continue to check their email, instant messaging, or texts related to work, even when out of the office. Learn to limit your access while out of the office and set the expectations with your teams that when you’re out—you are really unavailable. It is the only way to truly recharge your work battery.
Sometimes the best defense against burnout is a change of venue. AG Globe Services works to match top healthcare employers with well-qualified candidates. If you’re concerned that burnout is challenging your life, we may be able to help. Browse our current openings today!