Ways to Stop Radiology Burnout Before It Happens to You

Radiology burnout is a crisis in the medical field that affects 45 percent of radiologists according to the 2018 Medscape National Physician Burnout & Depression Report, ranking them 7th of all healthcare professions. Common causes include professional isolation, a lack of efficiency and being overworked due to staffing shortages. Radiology burnout negatively impacts interactions with colleagues and patients, causing radiologists to disengage and become more easily frustrated. This can harm your professional confidence and your career if not addressed. To prevent radiology burnout, here are four actions you can take if you feel you're at risk.

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1. Minimize Distractions

Distractions can reduce efficiency, leading to longer hours with fewer accomplishments. Reducing these distractions can boost productivity and minimize mistakes, giving you more time to focus on the professional areas with which you connect. Start with your mobile device. Turn notifications off — or silence them — and put your phone somewhere out of sight. Also, take the time to implement strategies that reduce the time needed for professional calls and emails.

2. Take Time For Self-Care

Poor diet, lack of exercise or sleep and increased stress levels can all contribute to a higher probability of radiology burnout. Take time to pursue personal interests that aren't related to work and find ways to decompress when your shift ends to help manage stress levels. Eat well, get enough sleep and try to stay physically active to give your body and mind the fuel they need to avoid burnout.

3. Reduce Professional Isolation

Radiologists often work independently and can find themselves isolated from colleagues and patients. This could be the result of inefficiencies that demand longer hours alone or due to the structure of your workplace. To help avoid radiology burnout, find ways to make interaction with other people a priority. Try to keep clerical work to a minimum while increasing your active participation in patient care.

4. Address Workplace Factors When Possible

Remember that your work environment can be a major player in your risk for radiology burnout. The six components that contribute to burnout include workload, reward, control, fairness, values and community. Assess what professional factors may be contributing, and determine whether you can do anything to influence them. If not, it may be time to consider a change in your professional environment.

Radiology burnout is a major problem that almost half of all radiologists experience. To keep burnout from destroying your professional satisfaction, learn to identify the warning signs so you can take action immediately. Take the time to meet your own needs and do what you can to optimize your workplace. Setting yourself up for success now can help you get the most out of your career and keep radiology burnout at bay.


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