Seven Ways to Prevent Burnout

A look at research which has identified seven ways to avoid and manage stress at work

There can be few jobs that are as pressurised as those involving the life or death decision making that medical professionals must make on a minute by minute basis.

Identifying and learning how to manage these pressures and the stress that is associated with them is a key factor in maintaining the morale of medical staff and the highest levels of patient care.

Survey identifies how to prevent burnout

Research by Geneia, a healthcare analytic solutions and services company has identified what medical professionals want their employers to do to help them deal with what some people are describing as epidemic levels of burnout and dissatisfaction in health care.

Findings benefit all

The findings of the research make interesting reading and offer something that might help other people and teams regardless of the type of work that they do.

Top Line

The top line findings of the research were that medical professionals are as always dedicated to their vocation but remain miserable at work.

  • Eight in 10 (84 percent) say the quality time doctors are able to spend with patients has decreased in the last 10 years.
  • More than three-quarters (77 percent) know a physician who is likely to stop practicing medicine in the next five years due to burnout.
  • Nearly three-quarters of surveyed physicians (74 percent) say the challenges of practicing medicine in today’s environment have caused them to consider career options outside of clinical practice.
  • An overwhelming majority (83 percent) say they are personally at risk for burnout at some point in their career.

Some way to go

The survey also showed physicians believe there is some movement toward solving the problem of burnout but some way to go:

  • 93 percent say there has been a marked increase in news and information about physician burnout.
  • Nearly half (47 percent) say they have seen a change in how their employer is trying to address burnout in the last two years.
  • Employed medical professionals are more dissatisfied at work than those who work independently.

Seven solutions to prevent burnout

  1. Listen. Make sure that you listen to other people and you are more likely to be listened to yourself. Ensure that everyone who speaks to you knows, regardless of what they are saying, that they have been and are being heard.
  2. Empower people around you to identify and examine the factors that contribute to your stress and burnout and work with them to make operational recommendations to managers for changes, or to make changes yourselves.
  1. Pay attention to your basic needs during working hours and when you are working overtime
  • Carve out time for bathroom breaks and consider making healthy food available close to physician offices.
  • Don’t leave work early when a colleague is struggling with a heavy workload
  1. Have a learning plan and seek out professional development opportunities.
  1. Invest in time-savers that reduce workload and give you time to focus on the more important aspects of your work.
  1. Try to find ways in which you can spend more time on the important things rather than just squeezing them into the time available.
  1. Get involved with your colleagues on non-work-related conversations and activities. Find the human in your colleagues not just the job title.