Healthcare provider burnout is something we talk about a lot in this blog. But that doesn't mean that we're not prone as anyone else to believing the lies, myths, and misinformation realted to the extreme stress and fatigue that providers face.
Sometimes we just need to understand what is happening in our lives in order to change it. So, in our quest to support happy providers and healthy patients...
A roundup of 5 lies about healthcare provider burnout we've come across:
- Doctors are most impacted by provider burnout.
Actually, nurses, aides, and other key players in medicine face burnout in equal or higher numbers as doctors. This profile shows a vivid picture of one nurse's stressful day -- and we find it helpful to know that regardless of our role on the team, we're all facing the same stress.
- Feeling burned out means you don't like your job.
As RN Theresa Brown points out in this Huffington Post article, that's far from the truth, "You can feel like you love a lot of things about your job but you can still be getting burned out about the job."
- Burnout comes from caregiving at work. As baby boomer parents reach the age when they need caregiving, there are increasing numbers of healthcare providers whose caregiving starts again as soon as they get home. These double-duty providers need to take special care to prevent caregiver -- and healthcare provider -- burnout.
- Giving and caring is what burns us out.
Counterintuitively, it may be the barriers that keep us from giving that really cause a sense of frustration and helplessness. Recently, an experienced physician in Boston spent 2 hours on the phone trying to get a patient's insurance approval, finally giving up and handing her the $30 to buy pills. The doctor was sanctioned and an uproar ensued. When "random acts of kindess" are cause for disciplinary action, burnout is inevitable.
- Doctors don't worry or make mistakes.
We actually think it's this expectation of physician infallibility that contributes to burnout. This interesting TED Talk "playlist" presents talk after talk about what keeps doctors up at night -- a perspective that might help us all stay a little saner.