The medical profession has always been a fast-paced, high-stakes one, but recent events have put the health of professionals in the spotlight more than ever. Along with the inherent risks of being a medical professional, burnout is also something that needs to be discussed. As many as 45% of resident physicians experience burnout, and many also express regret in their career choice at least once during their career. This doesn’t even include other figures in the profession like nurses, medical assistants, and other support staff.
The stakes for career burnout are quite high. For those that choose to leave their career over burnout, there’s a natural financial risk, not to mention hurting the communities they service. For those that stay without treatment or support, there may be a decrease in work quality, as well as mental health consequences. This makes it essential for medical professionals to understand what leads to burnout and what they can do to avoid it.
What Causes Medical Burnout?
So, with this in mind, what are some of the main causes of burnout for medical professionals? To start, there is a natural amount of stress inherent to the job. Medical professionals are working around the sick, injured, and dying, as well as their families. Even on the best days, this can be draining. In addition, each job comes with its own unique stressors, like your compensation, schedule, office politics, and the coworkers you have. This is probably the one constant that you’ll see at some level in any medical job.
Another major issue that medical professionals grapple with is having a work-life balance. For most jobs, personal pursuits provide that counterbalance to the stresses of work, but medical professionals may have some unique challenges here. For example, an extended schedule may keep them away from their time at home, causing them to ignore their personal needs. Something may be going on at home that keeps it from being that ideal place to relax, like family issues. When people feel they have no place to destress or no time to destress, it’s easy to start feeling burned out.
Sometimes, the medical mentality also ends up hurting professionals when it comes to burnout. Soldiering through difficult times without making a fuss and putting the patients first are admirable qualities. However, ultimately, medical professionals are still people with finite limits. Ignoring your issues for too long can cause things to collapse in a dramatic way.
Finally, one of the biggest issues many medical professionals have is their management/supervisors. There’s a classic adage in the regular working world that people quit their bosses rather than their companies. This brings up a key point that your work satisfaction is closely tied to the competence and skill of your leadership teams.
Dealing With Burnout
It must be mentioned that it may never be possible to fully eliminate medical burnout. However, there are still methods in place you can use to lower the intensity of it as well as address the issue before it impacts your performance. Here are some good examples.
Target symptoms: The sooner you learn the signs of burnout, the faster that you can act to approach them. Some of the most common signs are constant physical exhaustion, the feeling of regularly venting to patients or loved ones about the issues with your job, or questioning your job’s value. These feelings can normally happen on occasion, but if it’s frequent, you may be headed to burnout.
Become more efficient: If you’re noticing a common theme with the sources of burnout, a lot of them are related to time. Spending too much time on certain tasks, too much time at work rather than at home, not enough time with patients. This puts it on medical professionals to find new ways to improve practice efficiency whenever possible. Getting rid of tedium lets people spend more time on the parts of their job they see as most important. In addition, it will help boost morale.
What are some of the methods you can use? Some good starting points are:
- Delegating tasks to different people rather than shouldering responsibilities on a few people.
- Using technology to automate/simplify certain tasks like scheduling.
- Allowing patients to do things like pre-fill out forms before appointments to make processing quicker.
Treat work-life balance as another task: as another task: This may sound like something counterproductive at first, but many medical professionals are quick to toss aside their work-life balance whenever something demands their time. A good way to fight this is treating getting your time away from work the same way you would a work task. There are quite a few ways you can do this, from exercising to talking with loved ones to taking time off when you can. It’s important to do things like have a balanced diet and get proper sleep as well, as these provide key mental health benefits.
Manage your reputation online: This may seem like an odd choice, but the fact is that nothing can compile on stress in the medical world like being told that you aren’t doing a good job in a public forum. As a result, you want to use methods that will help control your reputation for the better. These can include getting regular reviews from happy patients or using content marketing to try and fill branded search results with positive material.
In order to reduce the chance of burnout, it’s important that medical professionals find ways to save time and frustration wherever they can. Opting for online medical certification over in-person options is a good starting point, but you still need to find a flexible and credible provider. That means working with ProMed. We offer certification courses formulated by expert healthcare professionals, keeping in compliance with AHA and ILCOR guidelines. Our course offerings include material on ACLS, CPR, BLS, and PAS. To ensure your satisfaction, we also offer a 100% money-back guarantee.