Every physician will be at risk of burn out at one point in their career. With the current state of the healthcare industry keeping providers healthy and happy needs to take higher priority. But what steps can you take mitigate that risk?
Here are 10 things you can do stop burnout in its’ tracks:
1. Be Self-Aware
Self-awareness in the context of Dr. Daniel Goleman’s famous book “Emotional Intelligence”, reminds us that the key is not to simply be more conscientious, but be aware of thoughts and feelings as they come throughout the day. By regularly taking note of our initial responses, you can better determine your emotional state and your limits. The more you practice and understand your limits the easier it will be to know when it’s time to recharge.
2. Balance Work and Life
We all have lives outside of work. In an ideal world our relationships with family and friends would help to recharge our emotional batteries, but in many instances, this can do the opposite. Being self-aware will be helpful you know your limits when setting healthy boundaries in our professional and personal relationships and better manage stress.
What you do during your downtime is just as important to your success as what you do when on the clock. Make this time count! Eating well, getting proper sleep, and is exercise proven to help lower stress levels. Equally important are hobbies and activities that provide mental stimulation and provide an outlet. A good goal to get you started is to do at least one thing that makes you smile before going back to work.
4. Time Management
Studies have shown that Electronic Health Record Systems actually add to stress in physicians. One recommendation from this study was for organizations/providers to provision time within the workday for required documentation and data entry into the EMR.
Some facilities have gone as far as hiring scribes to help alleviate this burden. Bottom line, your time is valuable, take charge of what you do control have control over and staying within your limits.
5. Keep Learning
Medical schools today seem to neglect skills that are commonplace in other professions curricula such as leadership, negotiation, or conflict resolution. Seeking opportunities to gain these skills through self-learning, or a mentor can be a mentally stimulating break from the routine and will pay dividends down the road.
Stay tuned for part 2…