Working as a dental or other healthcare professional means that you’re providing a valuable service to your patients. However, this kind of career can also cause a significant amount of stress that can end up resulting in burnout. In fact, healthcare professionals are experiencing higher rates of stress and burnout these days for different reasons. Learn more about how to handle stress and lower the risk of professional burnout.
Reasons for Increased Stress and Burnout
Dental and other healthcare professionals are facing certain challenges that weren’t common in the past, such as lower financial reimbursements and staff shortages in some areas. This type of career also typically causes stress due to the nature of this work, such as treating patients with advanced oral health problems or having to give patients bad news about their health. Dentists and physicians who deal with chronic stress can develop burnout that makes it more difficult to handle their work.
Common Signs of Professional Burnout
How can dental and healthcare professionals tell if they are experiencing burnout? Some common signs of this problem include:
- Needing to spend much more effort to get through a routine day on the job.
- Finding it more difficult to empathize with patients, including those who are facing severe health issues.
- Feeling fatigued or exhausted physically and feeling emotionally worn out.
- Having increasing difficulty staying patient on the job, especially toward the end of the day.
Problems with Stress and Burnout
Dental and other healthcare professionals who are feeling burned out due to stress can have a harder time doing their job. They might begin to treat patients with more and more indifference rather than with compassion. Burnout can affect the quality of service that dental and other healthcare professionals provide, which could put patients at risk of ending up with more serious or additional health issues.
Tips for Reducing Stress
Those who provide dental care or another type of healthcare can learn to manage stress more effectively in order to reduce their risk of having burnout. Although healthcare professionals can expect to deal with some amount of stress each day, they can prevent it from building up over time through self-care. Some ideas for reducing stress and the risk of burnout include:
- Focus on health and well-being. Eating nutritious foods, exercising for at least 30 minutes a day and getting plenty of sleep are all effective ways to ease stress.
- Spend quality time with others. Being with family and friends can provide healthcare professionals with emotional support and a chance to relax while having fun.
- Seek professional support. Healthcare professionals who feel overwhelmed with stress should consider joining a support group or meeting with a mental health professional.
If you need a routine dental cleaning or other dental services, please contact us at Trailhead Dental today to schedule an appointment.