The medical profession with the best work-life balance is a growing interest area. The medical profession in recent years has seen exponential growth in the number of people who are interested in starting their careers there. It is also good to note that the medical profession is made up of both specialists and those who assist them.
While the medical profession has grown in population and expertise, there is also an increase in the presence of diseases and population that needs the care and attention of these professionals. This rise in diseases and population needing care and specialist attention could end up being a huge workload on these professionals.
This article looks at some medical professions that have the best work-life balance. Hence, if you are considering starting a career in the medical field or just here for the knowledge, then you have come to the right place.
What is the Topic About?
This topic explores two important subjects: the medical profession and work-life balance. The medical profession entails the professions and practices that are in the medical field. Some of the professions here are doctors, nurses, lab technicians, lab scientists, biomedical engineers, public health specialists. There are also supporting professions such as home aids.
Work-life balance talks about how well one can balance work and life in such a way that none suffers neglect by the other. This is very important to anyone who is working and much more important, those who are in the medical field as they deal with human lives.
The medical profession with the best work-life balance explores those professions with a balance that is much better than other professions in the medical field. So we will consider some of the professions in the medical field as there are quite a large number of professions in the field.
Is Work-Life Balance Important for the Medical profession?
The medical profession as we know deals with human lives. This, therefore, means that any mistake carries grave consequences. Considering this important factor, it is safe to say that work-life balance is very important especially for professions in the medical field.
It is important for the following reasons:
- Illness susceptibility: to avoid falling ill
- Job burnout: to avoid being overwhelmed by work
- Medical mistake: to avoid errors in medical records and administering of treatment to patients.
- To avoid family neglect
The Standard for Measuring Work-Life Balance
When talking about the best of anything, there is a standard for determining who or what is the best. So talking about the medical profession with the best work-life balance, this is certainly determined by some standards. The standards used in this article are:
- Working hours: this talks about the number of hours that the professionals have to work in a day
- Burnout rates: this talks about the rate of burnout in each profession.
List of Medical Professions
The medical profession has a lot of professions in it and definitely, we can’t exhaust them all in this article. Hence, we will choose some of the professions and pick the best amongst them.
The list we will be working with includes:
- Nurse practitioner
- Medical Laboratory Scientist
- Working hours: hospital pharmacists work 8-10hours daily while retail pharmacists work 12-14hours daily.
- Burnout rate: 61.2%
- Working hours: 7-10 hours daily except for emergencies.
- Burnout rate: 84%
- Working hours: 8 hours daily and sometimes including weekends. Their working hours also vary according to their workplace as psychiatrists work in different organizations.
- Burnout rate: 48%
4. Nurse practitioner
- Working hours: some nurses work 8-10 hours daily and those who work 12hours daily.
- Burnout rate: 41%
- Working hours: 8-10 hours daily
- Burnout rate: there isn’t much information or research carried out to determine the actual rate at which optometrists burn out. There is information that points to the dissatisfaction that optometrists get from their daily activities.
6. Medical Laboratory Scientists
- Working hours: med. Lab. Scientists work according to shifts. A lab is run 24hours, especially in the hospital. A person cannot be on duty 24hours, hence, the shift. Some work 8hours, 10hours, 12 hours, or 7days a week and then 7days off. It all depends on the organization they are working for.
- Burnout rate: 85.3%
- Working hours: 8-10 hours daily
- Burnout rate: 37%
- Working hours:8-10 hours daily
- Burnout rate:49%
- Working hours:8-10 hours daily
- Burnout rate:32%
From the list above, we can see that among the professions considered Dermatologists have the best work-life balance. They have the lowest burnout rate even though they work almost the same hours as others.
Factors Affecting Work-Life Balance of Medical Professionals
Global Advances in Health and Medicine posted on their blog the result of a survey carried out on 1393 physicians. They identified the following factors as the reason for the lack of work-life balance as stated by the physicians:
- Workload: this refers to the number of working hours and the schedule that a physician has carried out weekly. Hospitals with limited staff are more likely to have their physicians dealing with more workload and due to that workload, the physician will not be able to create a balance between work and life.
- Workflow: this refers to the processes or channels of action in the hospital. When there is a delay or laxity at a point, it, in turn, delays the workflow of others. For example: assuming there is a patient whose case requires the services of a lab scientist and the scientist isn’t available to attend to the patient; that will affect the workflow of the doctor as he would need the lab result for diagnoses. That delay ends up leading to more work hours and less time spent at home or doing what is loved.
- Scheduling Issues: this refers to issues that arise from a lack of time management and work organization. When the activities of the day aren’t properly scheduled, they are bound to clash, thereby, leading to longer working hours.
A glance at the factors listed above shows that adjustments can be made at each factor either by the organization or by the individual to be able to achieve work-life balance.
How to Achieve Work-Life Balance among Medical Professionals
Work-Life balance is not achieved once and then forgotten about. It is a continuous action and should be actively pursued the way we pursue every other area of our lives. Neglecting it will lead to low performance on either side of the balance.
Below are some of the ways a medical professional can achieve work-life balance:
- Know your limit: this is important because when you do, you can decide when to stop and when to keep going.
- Plan your time: it is very necessary to plan your time. This will help you schedule properly on both ends without having each side encroaching into the other, though it is bound to happen every now and then.
- Learn to say no: this is an important point to note. You can’t keep taking on more responsibilities at work or at home without considering the implications for your health and wellbeing. A balance is important so you don’t end up concentrating on one end at the expense of another.
- Take a break: when you are to take a vacation, take it. Staying all holed up at work without getting out impacts you. Get a life. Socialize with people. Be functional and active in society.
- Organizational Policy: the organization( hospital, ministry of health, or other health parastatals) should make policies that favor the workers both in terms of working hours and the workload each worker is to handle. There should also be policies that give for relaxation times at work.
- Set boundaries: let there be clear boundaries between work and life and supervise that that boundary is maintained.
Conclusion: Medical Professions with the Best Work-life Balance
Work-Life balance is very important for any working-class individual. It is also highly important for medical professionals because they deal with human beings. Errors in the medical field can result in very fatal cases, hence the need for them to be able to create a balance that will help them be sound and alert at work while also being productive in their lives.
The list of medical professions considered is just a very little fraction of the actual professions in the medical field. The standards are quite important to look into especially burnout rates when getting into any profession in the medical field.
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