The well-being of health workers represents an essential part of ensuring high-quality care to those who require medical assistance. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, health care employees were already working exhaustively; shortage of personnel wasn’t a secret, and many of them were working double shifts.
Of course, when the pandemic showed up, the situation only became more challenging for them, causing more than 50% of the caretakers across all medical fields to experience severe burnout symptoms in the last year, according to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).
What is Burnout?
The manifestation of burnout is mainly physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion after being exposed to stressful or demanding situations in the work environment. It can cause a wide range of severe consequences for both the worker and the patients they take care of.
Symptoms like these characterize it:
- Headache and fatigue
- Moodiness, crying easily
- Less empathy, pessimism
- Hopelessness, depression
- Sleep disturbance
- Taking work home
- Escape fantasies
- Substance abuse
- Reduced tolerance to interactions with patients
- Disregarding professional ethics or boundaries
Tips to Prevent Burnout
While it might be an issue that isn’t going away soon, all healthcare workers need to learn strategies and tactics to mitigate the symptoms of burnout and learn to identify them on others to support them.
A good night of sleep is vital to the operation of the human body, but not getting it may result in professional and personal danger for health experts. Improve the quality of your sleep and enhance your concentration, energy, and even your mood.
A positive work environment relies heavily on the coworkers you share your days with, so it is crucial to establish a relationship with them where you can go to them for advice or support when you’re feeling overwhelmed by work.
Just as relevant as solid relationships at work, it is important to feel supported outside of work; sharing their emotional distress with a family member or a friend can help medical experts deal better with stressful situations.
This one might be easier said than done since it is a very investing job, but you must disengage from the work grievances and feelings. Leave the work stuff at work and be present in your time at home with your family; they deserve your attention, and you deserve the peace of mind.
Besides sleeping well, you can implement many regular activities daily to take care of your physical and mental health, like eating healthfully or exercising. Part of caring for your mental health includes reaching for help when the situation surpasses you, so don’t be afraid to try therapy if you think you need it at any point.
I know you save lives by helping patients all the time, and we all thank you for that. But remember to maintain a balance between caring for others and taking care of yourself.
You cannot help others if you’re struggling to feel fine yourself. There is only so much you can handle, and that is perfectly fine!