What is clinician burnout? What are the truths and myths of burnout among frontline workers in general that we’ll do well to learn about?
Myth 1: Burnout is a “problem” to be “solved”
If you’re a frontline worker and reading this, you may be asking yourself why you thought burnout has been a problem to you all along. We can put a diagnosis on it, get a treatment plan going, and cure it. But the challenge is that burnout is not a problem, but rather a state, and treating it is a process or set of processes.
Myth 2: If burnout was so important, we would learn about it everywhere
There is only so much that we can learn, either in school or in the world around us. But the fact of the matter is that the job of schools and work training programs is to get us ready for the next step, and it is up to us to create a system in place to live through it and do it well.
Even if these channels did talk about burnout, it would be only one hour. Would that be enough? Hardly.
Myth 3: You can do it on your own
Let’s think about a coach for a minute. You wouldn’t see a professional athlete without a coach –LeBron James, Serena Williams, etc. – they all have coaches at the highest level in their sport.
Why then, do we shy away from a coach when we arrive at the highest level of our career in healthcare and medicine?
If you’re like me, you’ve probably hired a coach sometime in your life. A coach for fitness, weight management, hobbies such as tennis or golf, maybe even interview preparation your first career job. You were coached during school, growing up, at work, and all walks of life. After we achieve our goals in that area, does the coaching stop?
Myth 4: Stress and Burnout are the same
This is discussed in an earlier blog post, so be sure to check that out.
Myth 5: Burnout mean’s you’re being lazy
If you’re burnt out, you’re not striving to succeed. They are instead living their life in a “chill” fashion and as a result they don’t burnout because they’re not exerting themselves.
It’s important to recognize that when you’re feeling burnt out, you got to this stage because you’ve been overworking yourself. It’s not a failure, it’s just a consequence of pushing too hard.