Healthcare workers are the unsung heroes of the American medical system. They do incredibly important work. It’s also incredibly tough work, which can lead to stress and exhaustion. This is known as “burnout.”
Burnout isn’t a sign of weakness. It is being overwhelmed by all the hard work healthcare workers do. Burnout can affect anyone in healthcare including:
● Mental health providers
● Other staff who work in medical facilities
Signs of burnout in healthcare include:
● Feeling exhausted — Healthcare workers may feel super tired all the time. This can make it hard to sleep. This can lead to headaches and getting sick frequently.
● Feeling really down — Burnout can make you feel really sad, upset, or like you just don’t care anymore.
● Performance challenges — Burnout in healthcare can make it tough to do your job well or be as productive as normal.
● Not trusting people — It might be hard for healthcare workers to trust others. They may also be grumpy and give off the vibe of not caring about patients or coworkers.
● Not caring anymore — Burnout can leave healthcare workers feeling disconnected from their patients. They can feel like patients are just a problem to solve or a box to check off on the to-do list.
● Losing empathy — Healthcare workers experiencing burnout may lose their ability to understand how others feel. Empathy is incredibly important in the healthcare setting.
When healthcare workers are experiencing burnout, their patients can suffer. This can cause patients to:
● Receive worse care — Burnout in healthcare can lead to healthcare workers making mistakes, giving wrong diagnoses, and providing lower-quality care.
● Be unhappy — Patients can tell when their healthcare workers are not on their A-game. This can cause patients to become unhappy and not trust the healthcare system. Why should they trust a system that doesn’t put the care and wellness of their staff as a priority?
● Receive bad communication — Burnout in healthcare can affect staff communications. A lack of communication can inhibit vital information from being shared which can hurt patients.
● See a high turnover rate — Burned-out and unhappy healthcare workers often leave their jobs causing their issues. This means that there is less help for patients and more work for those who remain in difficult healthcare jobs.
Therapy can be a beneficial tool in helping to combat burnout in healthcare. A healthcare worker seeking therapy can help them deal with burnout by:
● Spotting burnout — A therapist can help a healthcare worker understand that they may be dealing with burnout.
● Learning to cope — A therapist can help them understand healthy ways to handle stress, relax, and cope with burnout.
● Talk about feelings — Therapy is a safe place. A therapist can give you someone to talk to about your emotions without facing judgment.
● Finding work-life balance — A therapist can help healthcare workers to find a better balance between their work and personal life. This can help them take time for themselves in order to decompress.
● Getting stronger — Therapy can help healthcare workers learn how to be more resilient. This can help them bounce back from stress quicker and more easily.
● Learning to communicate effectively — A therapist can help healthcare workers learn to talk better with their patients and coworkers.
● Setting limits – A therapist can help healthcare workers learn how to set firm boundaries and how to say “no” when needed.
● Finding empathy — If a healthcare worker has lost their empathetic feelings, a therapist can help them find it again. This can help them care about their patients again and rediscover their love of their work.
Burnout in healthcare is a very serious issue. However, there is a way to help combat it. By learning to recognize the signs of burnout and getting support from a therapist, healthcare workers can keep providing excellent care while also taking care of themselves. Seeking therapy isn’t a sign of weakness. It is a sign of great strength and a commitment to their well-being. It also shows that they are still concerned with the well-being of their patients despite also suffering the complications of burnout.