Burnout is a problem across most facets of healthcare, and therapy professionals are not exempt from this uniquely troublesome phenomenon. Long hours, heavy caseloads, tedious documentation, the rising costs of education—and in turn, mounting debt—and more are all contributing factors, and PTs, OTs, and SLPs have all reported feeling those burdens. If you find yourself fatigued, exhausted, and detached in regard to your career and your patients, it is likely you’re burnt out.
Here are three options to consider, which may help you get back to a life and a career you love.
Change Settings or Employers
If you’ve been plugging away in the same setting or with the same population over many years, the key to enjoying your career again could be as simple as making a shift in one of those areas. If you’ve been working in geriatrics, maybe it’s time to give pediatrics a try. Tired of the SNF you report to daily? Try an outpatient clinic. Or perhaps you’ll find joy with a different employer in the same setting and population. As the adage goes, “If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.” So, go forth and grow.
Consider A Non-Clinical Role
Another way to grow, and alleviate your burnout, is to explore non-clinical career avenues. If you’re not connecting with patients, take patients out of the equation. Some non-clinical career options include education, including becoming a CME instructor, utilization review, medical device training or sales, consulting, informatics, marketing, or healthcare copy writing or content writing.
If you’re not ready to make a complete shift in your career, which is understandable, as the risk of change may be even more frightening than “the devil you know,” practicing mindfulness may be all you need to get you through. Begin to practice meditation or yoga, keep a gratitude journal, take time to just breathe, partake in hobbies you enjoy outside of work, never take your work home with you, and make sure you are getting enough sleep each night.
Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.