FLOYD LEE LOCUMS STORIES

Burnout & You: Identifying the Problem

by Kelly Starkey in Locums Lifestyle, Stats & Researches 03/11/2017

Burnout & You: Identifying the Problem

Part 1 in a two-part series on burnout in the healthcare profession

Everyone, at one time or another, has experienced stress. From cramming for finals in school to pulling multiple shifts at the hospital, we all face pressures that stack up and leave us feeling overwhelmed. But stress is temporary—and, as many of us know, it passes.

But what if it doesn’t?  What if the stress, anxiety or strain of daily living leave you exhausted and disengaged? If this is the case, you may be experiencing burnout.

Burnout is when you become indifferent to all the physical and mental pressures in your life. And that indifference can lead to a lack of motivation, detachment and even depression.

When you’re in the healthcare field, you may be predisposed to burnout. A lot is expected—and patients want you to be engaged and understanding of their physical, mental and emotional concerns. Dedicating this level of energy to others can leave your own self-care neglected.

That’s why it’s important to understand when you’re venturing from stress to burnout.

Here are 10 signs you may be experiencing the latter:

  1. You are tired as soon as you wake up—and that exhaustion persists throughout the day.
  2. You consider yourself stuck in your career with no prospects for change.
  3. You care less about patient outcomes than you have in the past.
  4. You fear your job is making you uncaring, cynical or negative.
  5. You believe patients are to blame for their problems.
  6. You feel drained or frustrated from simple patient interactions.
  7. You are preoccupied with what’s not done at work, even when at home.
  8. You view patients as objects instead of human beings.
  9. You feel emotionless about losing control or breaking down.
  10. You experience symptoms like headache, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety or depression.

So what can you do? Many in healthcare begin by searching for opportunities that offer more flexibility, lighter duties and more predictable scheduling. These—along with multiple other benefits—are common in locum tenens placements.

There are also several day-to-day practices you can employ to counteract burnout. We’ll introduce several of these next week in Part 2 of Burnout & You: Solutions for Daily Living. Join us then.