In a recent LocumTenens.com Compensation & Employment survey, we asked physicians and advanced practitioners for their opinions on mental health in the workplace. While the physician shortage worsens, more patients than ever are insured and want access to behavioral health care. This is leading to a crisis in access for patients and a wave of burnout and increased stress for the clinicians who carry an overburdened workload. Out of 2,438 respondents to the question “how much stress do you face in the workplace,” the majority of physicians answered “a lot of stress” while almost all advanced practitioners were split between “a lot” or “a little” stress.
While clinicians definitely feel stress at work, they’ve developed their own coping. Some of the most frequent responses are listed below.
- Practice mindful meditation. Take breaks during the day to relax.
- Exercising is one of the best ways to reduce stress and burnout. Whether jogging after your shift, attending a yoga class or taking a walk during your lunch break, find a way to stay active each day.
- Talking and consulting with colleagues and peers can help. Lean on supportive relationships, including at home. Remember to laugh and have fun! Humor is a great reliever of stress.
- Leave work at work. Try compartmentalizing so you don’t take stress home with you.
- Take action. Try to make changes at work if there are things that are within your control.
- Stay positive and keep things in perspective.
- Pick up or continue a favorite hobby, like gardening, listening to or performing music, reading, fishing or riding a motorcycle. Or use your hobby and skills to volunteer in your community.
- Don’t be afraid to seek therapy for stress management. Just because you provide treatment doesn’t mean you can’t benefit yourself.
- Change your workload. Consider telemedicine, going part-time or becoming an independent contractor.
- Make sure you take your earned vacation time. You deserve it! Whether you want to tour an exotic locale, visit family in another state or even stay home and relax, make sure you cash in those days you earned.
Invitations for the survey were emailed to a database of more than 80,000 individuals, which included physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and CRNAs. Respondents to all surveys were self-selected and spanned all 50 states and medical/surgical specialties. The response rate was 2.56 percent, with a +/- 3 percent error rate at a 95 percent confidence level.
LocumTenens.com is a full-service healthcare staffing agency, specializing in the temporary placement of physicians, CRNAs, physician assistants and nurse practitioners at healthcare facilities across the U.S. As the industry’s most-visited job board, LocumTenens.com helps healthcare organizations connect with the professionals they need to ensure patients have access to quality care. Founded in 1995, LocumTenens.com is part of the Jackson Healthcare family of companies. Learn more at www.locumtenens.com/about.