Working in a healthcare environment creates high stress levels for workers of all kinds, especially physicians. In fact, according to ICD10Monitor.com, physicians have higher-than-normal rates of clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction when compared to the general population. This research finding indicates the responsibility healthcare facilities have to make the prevention of physician burnout a top priority. While you cannot prevent every case of physician burnout, here are some ways your facility can help to battle this issue:
- Identify signs of physical or emotional fatigue. If your physicians constantly seem overly exhausted and mentally drained, it’s best to address these issues sooner rather than later. Talk with your physicians and ask them what may be causing them to burn out. After getting their feedback, you can decide what the best course of action may be. In some circumstances, you may want to recommend that a physician takes some time off. In other situations, you may need to readjust a physician’s shift schedule if he or she is working unrealistic hours.
- Evaluate your culture and workplace conditions. A poor culture can result in physicians feeling unmotivated and distressed with their work environments. If you find your physicians exhibiting negative behavior and communication with one another, it may be time to make some changes within your workplace. Implementing positive cultural initiatives, such as team-building activities or Friday lunches, will help your physicians develop better relationships with one another and create a more community-like atmosphere. Even during the workday, your physicians deserve some time to decompress and smell the roses!
- Establish open communication. Establishing a culture of open communication is a key part of creating a positive work environment for your physicians. The more comfortable your physicians are in expressing their concerns or grievances, the easier it will be for you to address both minor and major issues before they get out of hand. This will also help your physicians understand you value their input and care about their well-being at work.
Identifying red flags and shaping your workplace culture will be essential as you hire new physicians and strive to retain your current employees. Taking the measures listed above now can play a key role in reducing physician burnout within your organization for years to come.
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