Work-Life Balance for Healthcare Professionals

Could healthcare be one of the best jobs for work life balance?

Working in healthcare is a satisfying career path, but one of the hardest fields when it comes to balancing work and private life. Healthcare workers need to set boundaries daily to ensure that home life does not suffer. Physician burnout is a hot topic in this lately, but what causes burnout in doctors?

But first, let’s look first at the definition of work-life balance.

"A healthy work life balance can have varying degrees for each person. In general it means that a person is capable of meeting deadlines at work while still having time for nurturing interpersonal relationships and practice hobbies or other leisure activities, while not having to worry about work when not in the office, clinic or hospital. Also, it means sleeping enough time and eating well." 
Burnout in the healthcare sector

In a world increasingly burdened by conflicting responsibilities and commitments, work-life balance has become a predominant issue in any workplace. But never more so than in the healthcare industry where the question “What is the best work life balance medical experts can have?” is predominant. During the COVID-19 pandemic,  healthcare professionals have been key players in its management. They found themselves inevitably in the front line of exposure to the virus. This has led to an increase in burnout and a poor work-life balance.

So, what is burnout and what are the signs of burnout that you should be watching out for?

Burnout is described as a state of psychological, emotional, and physical stress in response to prolonged exposure to occupational stress.

The symptoms of burnout include feelings of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization (developing cynical attitudes about patients in the case of physicians or nurse burnout), and reduced professional accomplishment.

symptoms of burnout

Burnout makes it hard to concentrate, handle responsibilities, or be creative. And we know how this has committed our doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in the past year.

Given the complexity of the topic “physician burnout“, we invited physicians in the US to share their experiences. You can find the results of their answers below.

So how to achieve work life balance as a doctor or nurse practitioner?

Nicola McQueen, Chief Executive Officer at NHS Professionals, shares her work-life balance tips, based on what you should do and don’t do to get the benefits of a work life balance improvement and avoid physician burnout.

  • Reweight and revaluate: change will happen and your ‘perfect balance’ will shift as well.
  • Accept imperfection: balance does not have to be perfect, even, or constant. It’s about finding a comfortable balance that you are in control of.
  • Be flexible: being organized and structured will help, but only if you can build in some flexibility as well.
  • Switch off when you sign off: be protective of your time outside of work.
  • Trust your team: count on their help and support when you need it.
  • Be consistent and keep working on finding your balance to avoid what causes burnout in doctors
If you are interested in sharing your opinion regarding this and other medical topics, join the M3 Global Research panel and participate in medical market research studies.

If you are interested in sharing your opinion regarding medical topics like symptoms of burnout, join the M3 Global Research panel and participate in medical market research studies.

When you register to be on the M3 Global Research panel, you agree to receive email invitations to medical research surveys that we are conducting. You can pick and choose the surveys that you would like to participate in by looking at the information in the invitation. Also, you can log in to your account and see all available surveys that you were invited to. You can take part at any time of the day that is convenient to you and does not interfere with your daily activities.

With your input, we will be able to carry out further studies in the future in which we will be able to find the answers to some more questions like: “What is the best work-life balance medical specialty?” , “What are the symptoms of burnout in healthcare professionals?” or “What causes burnout in doctors?”

Please make sure to register and follow us on our social media platforms to get our latest articles on work-life balance and other healthcare-related topics.

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