During the course of working in healthcare, I had the privilege of working side by side with hundreds of physicians and healthcare providers. In an industry focused primarily on providing excellent patient care it was always an interesting contrast that many providers themselves had difficulty with self-care.
Do You Suffer From Burnout?
If you go to your favorite search engine and enter “Physician Burnout,” you will most likely be directed to over 139,000 articles. It is a topic widely known in an industry that has been plagued with long hours, diminishing job satisfaction exacerbated by a continual increase of regulatory requirements. To make matters worse, many provider Residency programs are often geared towards conditioning medical providers to be able to power through fatigue and stress. With this, it might be easy to assume Burnout is an industry specific, however, it is anything but.
While the construct of burnout was originally developed through occupations psychology research relevant to human service workers, the signs of burnout can manifest in any industry where individuals are plagued with overwhelming work demands. When those demands are prolonged, individuals who can suffer from signs and symptoms of stress suddenly transition to burnout. According to Maslach and referenced in a study published in JAMA, 2004 researchers agree that burnout includes 3 dimensions:
- Emotional exhaustion
- Depersonalization and cynicism
- Feelings of inefficacy
In situations of burnout, one or all of these indicators may coexist.
Through these studies, research has shown that occupational stress causes burnout when job demands are high and individual autonomy is low. But it doesn’t end with that, it also includes a more personal element; home life. When occupational stress is coupled with loss of personal control and in turn the home life is negatively impacted, it is then Burnout seems to manifest most prominently. Conversely, work-home intereference may, in some cases, mitigate Burnout.
With long lasting stress or burnout, it is not hard to imagine that job satisfaction or work place safety are put at risk. While regulatory requirements administered through federal OSHA or other safety guidelines, and work to address Work Life Balance have been front and center little attention has been paid to measuring and addressing Burnout once it has manifested. First understanding the difference between Stress and Burnout assists leaders in recognizing the difference and in turn options for administering coaching strategies that build resiliency.
Burned Out. Now what?
Bradison Management Group offers a collaborative approach to addressing Burnout. We have licensed to administer the MBI assessment, and more recently have started to collaborate with subject matter experts dealing with Burnout, Employee Engagement, and Emotional Intelligence. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation!
Written By Paula Bradison, BMG President and CEO