The healthcare field is a fast-paced and ever-evolving field, and it has a reputation for inducing high levels of stress. When these high levels of stress are sustained over an extended period of time, the healthcare professional can eventually enter into a prolonged state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. Burnout affects many healthcare professionals (an estimated 1 in 3 physicians), and this is why resilience and self-care are such important topics in the healthcare field. Are you a medical professional who frequently faces long hours and high-stress situations? Here are some of the most common signs of burnout, so that you can learn to identify and address it.
This is a big one. Healthcare professionals frequently forego getting enough sleep in order to attend to long hours and nighttime shifts. Chronic fatigue might start out as feeling a lack of energy much of the time, escalating to a constant state of physical and emotional exhaustion. If you feel exhausted to the point that your body and mind cannot recover within a typical period of recovery, chances are you are experiencing burnout.
On a related note, burnout can actually lead to the onset of insomnia—even if you’re physically and emotionally exhausted. Those with burnout frequently experience sleep disturbances, fragmented sleep, and overall shortened sleep duration.
At the onset, burnout might cause you to feel less hungry and to skip a few meals every now and again. Over time, you might find yourself beginning to lose your appetite altogether—even losing weight.
Increased susceptibility to illness
Do you seem to be getting sick more and more frequently? Burnout can ultimately weaken your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to colds, flu, infections, and more.
Other physical symptoms
Other physical symptoms of burnout include dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath, chest pains, gastrointestinal pain, and headaches.
Those with burnout often experience lapses mild forgetfulness and lapses in concentration. Ultimately, this makes it more difficult to get your own work done efficiently and correctly.
After a prolonged period of stress, you might begin to develop symptoms of depression. This could mean becoming unable to connect with patients, feeling trapped, feeling apathetic, doubting your own self-worth, and lacking a general sense of fulfillment in what you do.
Another common mental health system with burnout is anxiety. Burnout can leave you with constant feelings of worry, tension, and edginess. Ultimately, this anxiety can mentally block you from doing your work altogether.
It is highly important to recognize the signs of burnout so that you can properly address it if it happens to you. Many healthcare employers have programs in place to help their employees deal with burnout, and ultimately every healthcare professional should practice self-care in order to prevent it. Some healthcare professionals find as they work through their own symptoms of burnout that a change in environment is ultimately what they need. If you are a healthcare professional looking to bring your skills and expertise to a new facility, you can call on us at Fusion HealthCare Staffing to help you find the perfect fit. Give us a call today at 855-537-8353.