Avoiding Burnout when Working in Healthcare

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When studying and qualifying to work in healthcare, you will work long hours. You will be on your feet for most of your shift and exhausted by the time you get home. You’ll grab a bite to eat, get some sleep, then start the process all over again. It’s easy to see why some people burn out quickly, but there are things you can do to help prevent that from happening.

Make time for self-care

You should start planning self-care from the moment you begin your Wilkes University enrollment, and continue this when you are working in healthcare. Although the nature of healthcare as a profession may mean having to rearrange plans, aim to have a set amount of time to yourself. That might involve saying no sometimes. You’ll be keen to make a good impression when you start out but saying yes to everything isn’t always the answer. Finding a compromise is the better option.

Make use of your booked holidays to rest and spend time with the people closest to you. Turn off your phone, if you find it becomes a distraction.

Exercise

A full gym workout may seem daunting if you’re just about to start or have finished a long shift. However, a short walk (if it’s safe to do this) part of the way home or on the way to work will help, and the fresh air can make a nice change from being stuck inside.

If that’s not possible, investing in home gym equipment and doing short five-minute bursts of exercise several times a day, will be more helpful than not doing any exercise at all. Keeping track of exercise will show how quickly these short bursts add up.

Do the things you enjoy

There’s no doubt that working in healthcare doesn’t leave much free time for hobbies or interests. However, you can still squeeze in time to do little things that make you smile. This could be anything from singing in your car on the way to or from work, having a long soak in the bath when you get home, or occasionally treating yourself to your favorite meal, or that new item of clothing you’ve been wanting to buy.

Don’t eat too much junk food

Junk food is the easy option when you’re busy and hungry. But it’s best kept as an occasional treat. Junk food will leave you feeling sluggish, which won’t help if you have a lot of work to do. Eating and drinking healthier options will give you more energy. Working in healthcare, you will know the right things to eat, but the challenge is making time to do so. It’s difficult to find time to make something healthy to bring to work each day, but you could use part of your day off to make several healthy options in bulk, then freeze them until the day before you plan to eat them. Then all you have to do is heat them up when you get a break at work.

While working as a healthcare professional will mean less time for other things in your life, it’s important to make time to ensure you stay healthy, both physically and mentally.

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