How to Avoid Burnout in Your Healthcare Career

Avoiding burnout in your healthcare career is essential. Although your work can be rewarding, it comes with challenges that can impact your physical and mental health and your quality of patient care.

According to a study published in the March 2023 Journal of General Internal Medicine, 56% of nurses and 47.3% of physicians surveyed reported symptoms of burnout during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. These healthcare professionals felt drained at work and had difficulty coping in their personal lives. Many of them still deal with the ongoing effects of burnout.

Signs of Burnout in Your Healthcare Career

Burnout in your healthcare career can show up as emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced accomplishments. Other signs include:

  • Pessimistic attitude
  • Self-doubt
  • Social isolation
  • Neglecting personal needs
  • Behavioral changes
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Fortunately, you can take steps to avoid burnout in your healthcare career. The following methods can help.

Engage in Self-Care Throughout the Day

You must take care of yourself throughout the day to take care of your patients. Therefore, you should prioritize getting adequate sleep, exercising daily, eating healthy foods, drinking water, and engaging in activities that bring you joy.

Regularly Use Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques help manage stress in your healthcare career. For instance, practicing deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, meditation, and yoga throughout the day supports stress reduction.

According to a Duke University study published in the September 2022 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open, transcendental meditation helped relieve anxiety, insomnia, and burnout among healthcare professionals during the pandemic. You also could engage in other types of meditation throughout the day to stay grounded and reduce stress.

Enforce Work-Life Boundaries

Focus on your patients during work hours and your personal responsibilities and interests during off hours. Because your healthcare career is demanding, you need time for yourself when you are not working.

Maintaining work-life boundaries supports a manageable workload and your personal life. For instance, take regular breaks throughout the day to recharge. Also, turn down an additional shift when you have a planned activity or need rest. Additionally, let your colleagues, coworkers, and supervisor know when your workload is too high and you cannot take on additional tasks.

Maintain Connection and Support

Share your problems with trusted family, friends, colleagues, and coworkers. Relying on your network for connection and support helps alleviate your concerns and avoid burnout.

Consider talking with a mental health professional if your issues become overwhelming. Therapy can be a healthy method to express your feelings and learn coping strategies to navigate challenging situations throughout your healthcare career.

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