4 Tips to Maintaining a Healthy Work Life Balance in the Medical Field

Friday, April 05, 2019

     It’s no secret that one of the most demanding jobs in the world is working in the healthcare industry. You’re constantly on your feet, moving from patient to patient and there is always some work to be done. It’s not at all like an office job where you can browse Reddit or Facebook for the last few hours of work, quickly clicking back to your email to make it look like you’re working. There are lots of people that need your attention and sometimes lives hang in the balance. It is certainly a rewarding job, but there are definitely days that are much more difficult than others.

     Stress is a real factor in the medical profession, leading workers to become burned out or depressed. You can see why a demanding environment with long hours can overwhelm even the calmest of people from time to time. Burnout isn’t the only risk and maintaining one’s physical and mental health can be a challenging aspect. Maintaining that perfect work-life balance can be another hurdle all in itself. Have a look at just some of the tips below to help manage your stress levels and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

4 Tips to Maintaining a Healthy Work Life Balance in the Medical Field

Do Your Research

     If you’re just starting out in the medical field, you might be exhausted from all the schooling you’ve been through over the past few years. It’s been a wild ride for you and you’re ready to move onto the professional world and away from textbooks and notetaking.

     When you’re doing your job search, make sure to go over all the details with a fine comb. Here are some things you should check out when you’re on the hunt:
  • How long do they expect you to work
  • Does the job have any specific demands
  • How is time off handled
  • Who will you be working with

     Once you’ve got everything you can from the job announcement, try talking to others who work there or know someone or something about the hospital. If anything jumps out to you that says “oh man, this doesn’t look so good” take that as an internal sign that this isn’t for you. You may not find your perfect job immediately, so it’s OK to be patient and picky. This is your career! Also, make sure your resume is always updated and looks great. It's very easy to create a resume using online apps.

Sleep when the Baby Sleeps

     One piece of advice that seems to float around with newborn parents is: get your baby on a schedule and sleep when they do. Hopefully, the parents are lucky and the child sleeps peacefully through the night on a regular schedule. If not, however, they could be looking at a random sleep schedule. 

     They’re no good to the baby walking around like zombies, so when the baby sleeps, it’s important to jump on that opportunity and get some shut-eye as well. 

     The same principle applies to your work. Your rotation could vary, like 4 days on and 3 days off or if you’re hourly and have a 9-5 job. Either way, it’s called time-off for a reason. That time should be about you, your friends, your family, your personal hobbies, whatever! Many say that it’s hard to disconnect mentally. Try finding a landmark on your drive home that’s your cutoff point or the moment your keys go in your front door is your disconnect time.

Your day was hard enough, there’s no point in continuing to stress when you’re off the clock.

Find a Support Group

     Have you ever told a story that’s supposed to be funny, but in the end no one laughs? You’re greeted with a bunch of blank stares and maybe a “huh”. You cover up the story by saying, “Well, you just had to be there.”

     Sometimes, the people most likely to understand your problems and issues are the ones right next to you. They’re the people in the trenches, by your side working with you. 

     Try to find a group, either formally or informally, and be willing to let out your stress or worries. Sometimes these issues don’t have direct solutions, but it just feels good to be able to talk about it with someone. They may be having the same or similar issue that you have and you can relate to each other. 

Don’t Beat Yourself Up Over the Mistakes

     It’s a common saying in sports that the greatest players have the shortest memories. When a quarterback throws an interception, he can’t dwell on that mistake for the rest of the game. It does his team no good for their most important player to be wallowing in his error.

     The same applies to medical professionals. As unfortunate as it is, there are going to be mistakes made every day. They’re a part of life and a part of any work environment. Don’t take those mistakes home with you, dwell on them, and then be thinking about them the next day. 

     Nobody is perfect, but you can always learn from your mistakes. The great thing is, you’ll only get better from your mistakes as you learn and gain more experience. Don’t be afraid to give yourself a break. 

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