Eskridge Associates

Do You Know How to Recognize Burnout?

If you feel exhausted, demotivated, and hopeless both at work and outside of it, you’re not alone. As a physician, you’re always on call, and work long days and nights on call or in a hospital, which can be stressful at the time but can often be overcome with healthy personal habits and strong personal motivation. Over time, however, this stress can accumulate, and lead to something much worse… Burnout.

How do you know if you’re experiencing burnout or just stress? Watch for these three telltale signs:

Total Exhaustion

Burnout is about more than just physical tiredness. When you’ve burnt out, you don’t have the energy to decide what’s for dinner, what socks to put on, or even which movie to watch to relax after your shift. In many strenuous positions, if you recover adequately on your days off, you’ll be okay to continue. When you start to feel like you’ll never recover, no matter how many days you have off—that’s burnout. Total exhaustion is a physical, emotional, and spiritual draining, where you find yourself physically spent, emotionally unavailable, and spiritually vacant, and you have no more left to give. When this happens, it may be time to take a break and recharge in all areas.

Lack of Passion in Your Work

If you have begun to see your work more negatively, and no longer find meaning in it, you may be experiencing burnout. As your passion evaporates, you may feel like your work has no purpose, and become more prone to making mistakes. As a physician, you have a responsibility to provide quality patient care, empathy, and leadership, and all those things suffer when you begin to doubt the value of your own work. Recognizing when you start to spiral into these negative feelings and taking significant time to recharge can help you avoid burnout.

Negativity About Patients

Have your priorities shifted? Have you started to feel like your patients are in the way of all the other things you need to do? If you find yourself complaining about your patients all the time and grudging the time you have to spend tending to them, you may be experiencing burnout. Especially if you once loved your job, but now find yourself dragging your feet from patient to patient, you may be burnt out. And this lack of emotional availability doesn’t stop at work, either—you are likely to be colder and less compassionate to those at home as well. This phenomenon, also known as “compassion fatigue” can be a key sign of burnout.

If you’re feeling burnt out, and you find that some of the above symptoms apply to you, it may be time to take a break. In time, you may find that accepting locum tenens assignments works best for you—since you get to decide when, where, and why you work. If you’re ready to make the switch, check out the available Locum Tenens opportunities on our jobs page or contact us today.

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