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Seven ways ER physicians can relieve burnout

Posted on 6/9/2021 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles

Working in an emergency room setting is very fast-paced and extremely taxing on the body. With the higher levels of stress, having everyone looking to you for answers, it is no wonder more than 40% of emergency room physicians report feelings of burnout. Physician scheduling is often hectic as many long-hour shifts need to be covered.

Physician burnout is classified as a psychological syndrome that can be expressed as a prolonged response to chronic occupational stressors. Common signs of physician burnout include:

• Exhaustion

• A lowered immune system

• Procrastination

• Anger

• Detachment

While a certain level of detachment within the workplace is important to a physician's mental well-being, detachment among friends and family is a common symptom of burnout. But how do you reduce physician burnout?

Below you will learn 7 proven things to do to relieve the feelings of burnout. As a scheduling administrator, you can pass these along to your ER physicians. Encourage them to:

1. Set a life balance. While working in an emergency room department requires long hours to be put in, it is important for your overall well-being to maintain a healthy balance between work and friends or family. Set aside time to spend with those who love and care for you.

2. Safeguard their mental health. This is usually easier said than done. Many physicians report refusing to seek counseling for fear of workplace consequences. While things discussed during therapy are intended to be kept confidential, there is a closeness in the workplace setting between physicians and others in the health field that leads them to believe their worries will not be kept between those four walls. Physicians often “cope” with feelings of burnout by working more hours to keep their mind distracted which in reality only worsens their problem.

3. Reduce their hours. Working in an emergency room as a full-time physician requires a lot of hours of work to be put in. By reducing the number of hours worked, whether that be overtime or regular hours, aids in reducing the amount of stress placed on the body. Learn to say “no” when the scheduling administrator begins shift scheduling.

4. Change their workplace settings. A change in workplace settings allows for physicians to work somewhere that is slower-paced, offers convenient emergency medicine scheduling, uses better EMR systems, and much more. It not only restarts your career itself but gives a feel of a mental “restart” as well.

5. Get out of the office. When the first signs of burnout appear, take some time off. Eliminate the stress altogether and take a vacation with your family. Leave the phones turned off, do not answer work emails, just enjoy your time away to relax and reset both your body and mind.

6. Ensure self-care. After taking care of so many people, physicians often neglect their personal needs. Self-care can be found in the form of exercise, eating healthy, or just getting a massage to relax.

7. Listen to their bodies. This may be one of the hardest things for anyone, especially physicians. The long hours expected of physicians are physically and emotionally draining. When your energy tank is empty, listen. Get plenty of rest and allow your mind to reset.

As a scheduling administrator, you can help to reduce physician burnout through your emergency physician scheduling software by encouraging them to utilize the robust features, such as shift swapping and time off requests.

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