Medical professionals, and physicians, in particular, always have to manage a high level of work-related stress. Physicians also tend to face instances of burnout more often than other types of professionals. Since the start of the pandemic in 2019 and leading up until today, the rates of physician burnout have increased dramatically. This is a serious concern as it reduces performance and productivity, and it also poses a threat to patient safety. Here are six efficient ways that modern physicians can help better manage their stress and prevent getting burned out at work.
Create a Balanced Schedule
As a part of the salary negotiation, physicians should ensure that their schedule is balanced. It should include plenty of time for breaks, time off, and time with family. This will help reduce burnout and also reduce the overall stress levels that come from working in such a high-impact field.
Reduce Administrative Tasks
Every medical professional will need to perform at least some administrative tasks in the workplace. Too often doctors get bogged down in both patient care and administrative work which leaves them with little downtime. Any non-essential tasks should be delegated to others to help manage stress and prevent burnout.
Practice Being Mindful
Engaging in active mindfulness is a smart way to manage stress and help to focus on the tasks in front of you. This is essential for physicians especially due to the general chaotic nature of their craft. Mindfulness can be achieved through meditation, breathing exercises, the use of white noise along with other proven methods.
Engage With Colleagues
Physicians tend to have busy schedules which can make meeting up with friends difficult. However, spending time with colleagues in the workplace is one way to reduce stress. Engaging with those who understand the pressures of working in the medical field can help reduce burnout and foster professional growth at the same time.
Lean Into Self Care
One way to reduce burnout and manage stress is to practice self-care. Physicians often remind their patients of the importance of healthy aging and stress reduction only to forgo their own advice. Ensuring that sleep habits and eating habits are well balanced is critical to prevent burnout. Staying fit and active is also an important part of self-care. Setting aside time to enjoy relaxing hobbies regardless of the pressure of work is also essential in order to avoid burnout.
Take A Break
Career physicians are often hesitant to take time away from work or their practice to recharge. This can be due to their heavy workload or simply due to a desire not to be left behind. However, sometimes the best thing a medical professional can do for their patients is to take time off in order to reset and recharge. A break, however short, is a great way to prevent burnout and also help manage the stress of being a medical professional.
The Bottom Line
Reducing burnout and managing stress while working in the medical field isn’t easy, but it is possible. Learning coping methods to get through stressful situations and taking time to practice self-care is essential. Burnout is quite common in the medical field, so physicians should never feel like they have to face it on their own. There are plenty of self-help and professional resources available for physicians in need.
Author Bio: Heather Blacksmith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and works at a finance firm based in Seattle, Washington. She specializes in small business finance, credit, law, and insurance. When she is not working, she spends her time in her favorite coffee shop writing on various finance-related topics. Other than that, she enjoys adult coloring books, recycling, and running.