Nearly a month ago, we put out a quick Facebook poll to see if clinicians in the rehab therapy space were at risk, or, even the active process of burning out. This has been of considerable concern in the last couple quarters as leadership from all sectors and specialties within our space of healthcare have expressed a big disconnect between employer vs. employee expectations. There is tremendous dissonance in company culture, leading to turnover — primarily due to rampant negativity… preventing true all star teams from being formed, groomed, and set up for success.
Combine all that with the fact that another recent poll demonstrated LESS THAN HALF of developing professionals in clinical care wish to remain clinicians for the entirety of their career… one can only ask:
Are You Burning Out?
The sad truth is, just as many developing professionals no longer wish to remain fully clinical for their career at just over 50%, as there is respondents to this recent poll that, “Yes. I’m burning out.”
That’s a STAGGERING number in all direction.
I’ll say this now: Burnout happens because your passion and your purpose are in conflict.
This most commonly happens because your daily work duties (WHAT) are dissonant with your reasons for being in the profession (WHY). To be up front, this can be anything from how you treat your patients, being forced to treat certain types of patient populations, being told not to pursue a specialty in patient typology, the logistics behind patient care, billing, documentation, travel, being underpaid, being undervalued, being unrecognized, being passed up for a promotion — the list can go on. Nevertheless, you’ll notice that the purpose of you being “at work” is not in line with the passion of why you are and have joined a clinical care industry.
So… what can you do about burn out?
Staying Engaged & Inspired:
Here are a few things you might be able to do about staying engaged at work.
- Consider patient and population variety. Sometimes, a little change of pace can go a long way.
- Get perspective on your career path. Are you going where you wish to go? If not, it may be time for a change. Start by talking with your immediate supervisor about your future at the company.
- Find a place in your job where you can grow passion, however small or fledgling, for the team and the greater company as a whole.
- Consider the socially responsible fight — “the good fight” for society’s well-being; shoutout to the war on opioids and the opioid crisis.
- Think about travel or travel between assignments; or, even a sabbatical to recharge your batteries.
Dangerous Factors To Burning Out:
The following is a short list that is guaranteed to burn you and/or your team out.
- Increasing levels of busywork outside of patient care.
- Unheeding, jaded boss; a supervisor that doesn’t listen.
- If work life balance being consistently sacrificed for projects, jobs, or tasks that don’t seem “worth it.”
- Operational struggles invade or impede the quality of service delivery.
- Unreasonable productivity standards; especially given the soon emergent systems of value based healthcare — is the short term gain truly worth the long term risk / loss?
The straight truth about burnout is that if you think you are, then you probably have been burning out for some time. The only real solution is change. That said, I wouldn’t be in a hurry to make a change as much as I’d be bolstering readiness to have meaningful conversations about change. These conversations may be with your colleagues, family, friends, mentors, supervisors, teams, departments, areas or division leadership.
Whatever the case, if change is necessary — Consider it. Plan it. Discuss it. Refine it. Map it out. Then, execute!
If you’re reading all of this and finding yourself think: “YES… The struggle is REAL!” or, you’re identifying with the amount of staff burnout and turnover plaguing your company… consider browsing through the resources below which include downloadable data sheets, talent acquisition reports, and strong ways to elevate your company culture.