According to the 2013 National Healthcare & RN Retention Report, nurse turnover is at 14.7 percent nationwide. One of the leading contributors to turnover in the medical field, particularly in the field of nursing, is burnout. If you hope to retire from the career that you fell in love with in the beginning, you’ve got to take care of yourself. Here are suggestions from people in the field for those afraid of the eventuality of burnout:
1. Get a Hobby
If you already have a hobby, that’s great; get a new one. Learning how to do something new will take your mind completely out of the hospital and off of your job. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to play the guitar, do it. If you have wanted to learn how to crochet an intricate afghan, do it. Find someone who already knows how to do what you want to learn and is willing to teach you. If all else fails, buy a book and teach yourself.
2. Entertain Your Brain
Do you know that most cops hate watching police shows? Lawyers can’t stand watching legal shows. Why? Because they see every little wrong detail. Instead of watching a medical drama to unwind at the end of the day, watch a show that has nothing to do with medicine. Read a book that has absolutely no mention of a doctor or clinic. Books and movies can transport your mind to another world; provided you don’t try to entertain yourself with the same things that you deal with on the job.
3. Relax Before Work
Most people relax after work. While that is a good idea, try to relax before work instead. It may mean getting up 30 minutes earlier, but relaxing and enjoying yourself before your shift can make your entire day run more smoothly. Take a hot cup of coffee to the back deck and soak up the day, take a hike with the dog along your favorite trail, or spend 15 minutes brushing your cat. No matter what it is that you choose to do, relaxing before work can be more beneficial to your mindset than trying to relax afterwards.
That’s right: just leave. You have at least one day off during the week. Spend that day in a new town seeing something you’ve never seen before. Even driving two hours away is often far enough to see something new. Think of it as your own private adventure. Pack a cooler, fill up the tank, pick a direction and go.
How does a day at the spa sound? Perhaps your aching back has been screaming out for a bit of TLC. Maybe you’ve been dying for a new look. There’s no doubt that a day at the spa can cost you a week’s salary, but you’re worth it. If you simply can’t part with your hard-earned cash, recruit your partner to give you a day of pampering. Light some candles, soak in the tub and have your partner give you a fabulous massage.
People in any profession burnout when they eat, breathe and live their occupation day in and day out. If you don’t take time for yourself, you’ll never make it through to retirement. It doesn’t matter what you do to get your mind off of work, but it is important that you do something. Try to take a step back from your career and remember that a job is what you do, not who you are.