Thursday, November 19, 2009

Great to see you...I'm Fried!

While rounding today, I could not help but notice how hard everyone constantly works. While it is never said enough, I am so appreciative for all the support everyone provides to St. Joseph Medical Center and Carondelet Health. It was great to hear stories on how much we support each other in order to provide the best care to those we serve. We are truly in this mission together.

Keeping this in mind, it is very important to ensure that 'burnout' does not occur and we have to watch after each other as we may not notice the signs when it happens to us.

What is Burnout?
According to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary burnout is defined as: "exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration."

What Causes Job Burnout?
Here are some possible causes of job burnout:
* Working harder because of leaner staffs
* Working hard without feeling rewarded
* Being in an unsuitable career
* Not having enough time away from work

How Do You Know If You Are Burned Out?
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, burnout may be to blame:
* Fatigue
* Irritability
* Crying jags
* Anxiety attacks
* Weight gain
* Teeth grinding
* Increased drug, alcohol, or tobacco use
* Insomnia
* Nightmares
* Forgetfulness
* Low productivity at work
* Inability to concentrate

What Are the Effects of Burnout?
Burnout can affect your physical and mental health. It can lead to:
* Depression
* Anxiety
* Physical illness, i.e. stroke or heart attack

What Can You Do If You Are Burned Out?
Before you can cure your burnout you have to figure out what is causing it. You must also take into account the severity of your burnout. The more severe it is, the more drastic your fix will have to be. Here are some possible cures:
* Find more time to relax (I know - not so easy to do)
* Take a vacation (I know...need more money for that but certainly take time for yourself
along with time with family & friends)
* Minimize any overtime

Source: ("Job Burnout." VHI Healthcare .)

St. Joseph's has a wonderful walking route - 3 laps within the hospital is equal to one mile. We also offer massage services and classes through Well*Life. Take advantage of any free time to care your you.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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