Burnout is quickly becoming a critical issue across all industries. This is due to many factors, not the least of which is the economic and physical difficulties that have arisen thanks to COVID-19. For those in the healthcare field, this is perhaps the most apparent. Dental healthcare professionals have some of the highest rates of burnout and have unique struggles in the healthcare field. If you have started to feel burnout on the rise in your life, know that you are not alone, and there are steps you can take to ensure a healthier, more productive practice.
Work Towards an Empowering Office
Feelings of powerlessness and disrespect are often at the core of burnout. In most traditional offices, there is a top-down hierarchy which can result in a level of disrespect or dismissal towards opinions. It’s important to work towards healthy communication between all levels of office hierarchy, with no tolerance for negative talk. Just raising the importance of kindness and the development of a respectful atmosphere can do wonders for a decreased likelihood of burnout.
Guarantee Fair Compensation
Feeling that you aren’t properly compensated for your work is another major struggle in the healthcare industry. If you are working long hours, performing extremely technical tasks, and maintaining a high level of professionalism, it’s reasonable to expect compensation to match. This can include time off and retirement funding, and pay. Consider what you consider ‘fair’ compensation for your work. Dentistry is lucky in that professionals have more freedom to determine their prices and schedules, which can be altered to match your expectations.
Find a Manageable Schedule
Speaking of having control over your schedule, having work hours that are not manageable is one of the leading causes of burnout. It’s fair to say that high workloads are common in the industry, but having the freedom to alter your schedule to something more comfortable is a blessing that should be taken advantage of. There are many ways to work comfortable breaks into your schedule, whether it’s longer hours in exchange for a day off, or something like a longer lunch break.
Continue Your Office’s Education
A great final tip for preventing burnout is to continue to educate yourself. There are many places to find continuing education courses in dentistry, but it could be even better to go out of your comfort zone and experience a new kind of practice entirely. Whether it’s something like taking up Invasaline fittings or newer techniques, learning a new skill is rewarding, empowering, and can become an entirely new revenue stream for your practice. Extending a bit of time and money towards each member of the office in regards to their education can instill pride and commitment in their work.