How to Prevent Physician Burnout? – Overview
Burnout is a serious problem among doctors, nurses and other medical professionals.
According to the Physicians Foundation report, “the percentage of US physicians reporting at least one symptom of burnout rose from 45 percent in 2011 to 48 percent in 2014.
Of course, that’s not good news for patients.
Preventing burnout requires a multifaceted approach to the problem that includes support from patients, employers and physicians themselves.
Patients can help prevent physician burnout by being more involved in their health care and taking responsibility for their health.
On the other hand, physicians can prevent burnout by being more aware of warning signs of burnout and taking steps to reduce stress.
Here are some steps that can be taken to prevent physician burnout.
Physicians are often trained to “fix” problems and work on autopilot, but self-care is a skill that needs regular practice like anything else.
As a result, physicians must learn to look after themselves by recognizing what works and what doesn’t when it comes to self-care.
Ask your family, friends or colleagues for feedback on how you’re doing with self-care; you may be surprised at what they say!
Admit There’s a Problem
As previously mentioned, doctors are hard-wired to “work through” problems by themselves, but this approach can’t work in the prevention of physician burnout.
One of the first steps to preventing burnout is admitting that there is a problem and seeking out help before it’s too late.
A colleague, family member or friend can offer insight into why you’re feeling burned out, even if they don’t have professional experience in the healthcare field.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways that you can help prevent physician burnout.
Not only will regular exercise improve your mood, but it will also make you feel better mentally and physically.
Exercise has even been proven to help with insomnia, which may occur more frequently among physicians due to long hours at work and stressful situations that arise in the hospital setting.
In addition, working out has been shown to increase metabolism and promote weight loss, which can be extremely beneficial for those who may be overweight or suffering from obesity.
Strike a Work-Life Balance
Burnout is partially caused by overworking oneself and poor-quality sleep. Being overworked may lead to feelings of helplessness, depression, and chronic fatigue.
These feelings may lead a person to neglect their physical health as well as their mental health.
To prevent these feelings from getting out of control, physicians need to find a healthy balance between the two.
Create a Personal Physician Wellness Plan
There is no one way or perfect recipe that works for every physician; what works for one doctor may not work for another.
However, you can start by looking at your overall stress level, sleep habits and nutrition as key elements in preventing burnout. You also need to have time set aside for your social life.
Burnout can be prevented by establishing boundaries with your patients, supervisors and colleagues.
It is important to communicate your limits and expectations when it comes to work, family and personal life.
It’s also vital that you learn how to say “no” when appropriate.
Schedule your Time Wisely
Time management is critical for maintaining a balance between work and personal life.
Try out some time management apps or develop a detailed schedule for your day and week to keep track of tasks.
This way, you avoid having a backlog of work due to procrastination.
Enjoy What you Do
If you’re constantly complaining about how much you hate your job, it’s likely to hurt your relationships with those around you, and it could even cause other problems.
In any situation, it’s important to find the positive and appreciates it instead of focusing on the negative. Make sure you’re enjoying doing what you do.
The burnout rate among doctors is double that of the general population. It can be caused by many factors, including job-related stress, emotional exhaustion, feelings of depersonalization and a sense of decreased personal achievement.
Think about what you would do if you were burned out.
It’s not easy to change careers when you’re established in one field, but it’s important to take care of yourself so that you don’t make any major mistakes or fall asleep at the wheel because you’re exhausted from working too many hours.
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