Doctors and nurses are tasked with countless responsibilities every time they “go to the office”, not to mention their job can be more stressful than your typical 9-5 office job. And like any other professional, doctors and nurses need an appropriate work-life balance into their routines. Work-life balance is easier said than done especially when having a career in the healthcare field. A proper work-life balance helps the caregiver be at top performance, which can translate to higher patient satisfaction.
Life outside of work may include sleeping, eating, exercising, spending time with family or maybe enjoying a hobby. But when doctors and nurses are working 50-70 hours a week, free time can seem unattainable. Additionally, nearly 20% of doctors say they are even working 61-80 hours a week (AMA). Long, hard hours like these make their work less fulfilling and draining. This burn-out is often passed to the patients and may result in improper care. A happy doctor means a happy patient.
Research has shown that “millennial” doctors are taking more initiative in finding a work-life balance because of their exposure to unhappy, older colleagues. An American Medical Association survey stated that 92% of physicians aged 35 or younger felt that work-life balance was important. Women within the medical field have also been found to show significantly more concern about achieving this balance. So, we know many doctors care about finding this balance, but how do they do it?
A recent paper from The University of Tennessee Health Science Center suggests these four ways to work-life balance in the medical field:
Purpose - Young physicians may become dissatisfied with their work because they no longer find meaning in their work or have lost sight of its purpose. Finding meaning in one's work should also consider family needs and aligning your own needs with those of your organization.
Time Management - Balancing work and life roles requires good time-management skills. Effective time-management involves setting both long- and short-term goals, planning and organizing, and not engaging in time-wasting activities.
Prioritization - Among your various responsibilities, it is important to identify what is important to you. One doctor, who has a dual physician family, said that she puts family first. As a result, she works 3 days per week to stay on top of her family life.
Reassessing and resetting - During life stages such as training, marriage, childbirth, and the death of family members, taking time to reassess and reset both work and life goals can be helpful in creating balance.
Ongoing purpose and motivation is very important, especially in medicine, where the “customer’s needs” involve the most important focus of all … one’s health. Burnout can happen, and oftentimes reduced staffing and resources will result in longer hours leading to greater dissatisfaction among hospital personnel.
PREMEDEX can help. With our trained staff using innovative technology, we help doctors and nurses be more productive and satisfied in their work, which typically can translate to higher patient satisfaction, leading to overall better performance for the entire health system.
See how PREMEDEX has helped hospitals across the United States with our patient communications programs. Learn more.