With the ever-increasing demands of the healthcare industry, many physicians, nurses and practice managers are faced with the issue of work-life balance. While today’s typical full-time jobs entail an 8-5 work schedule, such is not the case in medicine, when patient care is the priority and office hours can run long, many times well into the night. Factors like long hours, worries of job security, unfairness and a lack of control in the workplace are often to blame for high levels of work stress. Proper work-life balance is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, although those in demanding positions may find it difficult to achieve.
Aside from encouraging productivity, helping your employees maintain a healthy work-life balance speaks volumes of your practice’s commitment to its staff. Workplace stress can manifest itself physically, in an array of health conditions capable of causing long-term harm. These include cardiovascular disease, hypertension, depression and anxiety, to name a few. High levels of workplace stress can also lead to a series of unhealthy behaviors, such as overeating, alcoholism or recreational drug use.
Combatting the effects of workplace stress is costing the industry money, and lots of it. In fact, 5 to 8 percent of healthcare spending is spent managing the adverse effects of work stress. If you or your employees are suffering from work-related stress, consider these tips to alleviate the associated psychological symptoms.
Decompress to Alleviate Stress
A continuous, heavy workload is one of the most common causes of workplace stress. It’s important to take a vacation or a long weekend every once in a while to decompress and relax your mind. Healthcare employees are often faced with erratic hours, with many working graveyard or 24-hour shifts to provide adequate patient care. Encourage your employees to take their vacation days, or promote non-work related activities, which can revitalize both mind and body. You might also consider initiating policies that dictate when it is acceptable to handle work issue