Any respectable medical practice manager should see stress in the workplace as a serious issue that needs immediate attention and action. Elevated stress levels at work not only reduce a staff’s productivity, they can also negatively affect relationships between colleagues, compromise the practice’s bottom line, and even endanger the patients’ health and well-being.
There are many potential sources of stress in a medical practice. If you are someone who is in the position to make important decisions in your organization, it is vitally important to be aware of these possible causes of flashpoint so that you can take a proactive stance against employee burnout.
Your associates may consider the following as stressors:
- Inadequate material resources
- Too much paperwork and other administrative tasks
- Being tasked to do work that is not in their job description or for which they are not qualified
- Spending too many hours at work because of huge workloads or because the practice is short-staffed
- Being expected to meet tight or impossible deadlines all the time
- Having coworkers that physically or emotionally abuse them
- Not having enough opportunity to rest or unplug from work
- Not having a voice in the policies being implemented by the management
- Frustration over haphazard decisions being made by the management
- Feeling isolated or not getting enough support from colleagues and superiors
- Not having appropriate opportunities for career advancement
- Frustration over government and health care system-related policies
It can be very tough to be around stressed out coworkers. As experts have noted, negativity in the workplace can be contagious, so it’s important to spot highly stressed employees before problems escalate and more people end up feeling like they just want to walk away from it all.
The burnout warning signs in an employee can include the following:
- Always feeling tired
- Insomnia or sleeplessness
- Not being able to concentrate at work
- Anxiety and feeling of uneasiness
- Constant absenteeism
- Sarcastic and cynical attitude toward work
- Short temperedness toward work colleagues
Practice managers would be well advised to discover ways protect their associates from stress. One of the best ways to do this is, to begin with, hiring only positive individuals whose work ethics and attitude complement the existing team. As a manager, you should also ensure that employees are given the right responsibilities that match their skill sets, provided with opportunities for career growth and improvement, and encouraged to have a say in the important decisions being made by the management.
Furthermore, you should also seriously consider how modern technologies and services may help in mitigating stress in your workplace. For instance, a more reliable electronic medical records infrastructure or getting the services of professional medical transcriptionists and medical scribes may help in easing the workloads of your highly stressed medical staff.
Remember that dealing with staff stress is one of the most effective ways to improve cooperation and teamwork, especially in a medical practice. Fostering teamwork, in turn, is often key to ensuring the success of a health organization, in addition to maximizing its earnings.