Whether you work as a carer, doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or something in between - it’s likely that you often put the needs of others before your own. After all, this is often the very nature of your work. However, it’s important that your own needs are met, too.
With that in mind, here are eight things that every healthcare professional needs (and how you can go about getting them).
No matter which career you enter into, it’s important that you believe in your own abilities and are confident in your ability to succeed. Knowing you have what it takes will also enhance your professional prospects, as your co-workers will begin to hold you in higher regard and increase your responsibilities accordingly. Conversely, a lack of confidence could lead to increased stress and anxiety and could also create a lack of trust between yourself and your patients. After all, if you cannot trust yourself, why should they be expected to put their health into your hands?
Therefore, it’s important that you know exactly how to give yourself a confidence boost when you need one. Whenever feelings of self-doubt creep in, remember that you got hired for a reason. You deserve to be there. If you could not do the job, you would not have been offered the position in the first place.
Access to the right supplies.
In order to do your job to the best of your abilities, it goes without saying that you need to have access to the right supplies. While your employer will likely provide you with most of the tools you need to get the job done, such as your stethoscope, your uniform may be your own responsibility. Thankfully, this does not have to be necessarily expensive. For example, you can purchase quality made scrubs at Uniform Advantage for a fair price. This is also a great way to brighten up your work wardrobe - which can make dark mornings a little easier! Furthermore, you can purchase clothing from Uniform Advantage and have it delivered directly to your door - this is perfect for those with a jam-packed schedule who don’t always have time to hit the stores. Even better, studies suggest that online shopping can actually boost your serotonin levels - meaning you could get a quick pick-me-up when getting work supplies.
A Good Night’s Sleep.
Working in healthcare often means working long hours or spending a lot of time on your feet. As a result, you’ll need a lot of energy to keep you going throughout the day or to make it a little easier to get out of bed each morning. The easiest way to achieve this goal is by ensuring that you get enough rest. Luckily, there are plenty of ways in which you can improve the quality of your sleep. For example, you can begin by putting together a nighttime routine that enables you to go to bed at the same time each evening. The more consistent your bedtime, the easier you will find it to go to sleep. This is due to the fact that your body will begin to naturally feel tired around this time. You can also get more sleep at night by cutting back on your caffeine consumption or at least ensuring that you do not drink coffee after a certain time. Finally, reducing your screen time can also help you fall asleep quicker, especially if you stop scrolling through your phone when you get into bed.
As mentioned previously, healthcare professionals are always on the go. This is simply because whenever a patient leaves your facility, a new one is likely to take their place. This means that on some occasions, you may not allow yourself to take a proper break during the workday, as you feel as though you have too much to do. However, taking regular breaks will actually help you perform better at work, as it gives you some time to clear your head. Therefore, you must take a break when you need one - whether you go for a short walk or simply find a quiet space to collect your thoughts. You should also ensure that you take all holidays that are offered to you, even if you don’t have any trips planned. Simply spending more time at home and catching up with friends and family can have a huge difference on both your physical and mental health. It’s important to remember that you have earned this break - and there is no shame in taking time off when you need it.
Opportunities to grow professionally.
Whether you are ready to accelerate your career or dream of working your way up the ladder slowly - you must be provided with opportunities to grow during your time at work. Not only will this enable you to earn more money, but it will also increase your job satisfaction as you move into a position that you are particularly passionate about. Thankfully, there are various steps you can take to expand your skillset and knowledge while on the job. For example, you could ask your supervisor if you can shadow another staff member who works in a different position from yourself or sign up for any and all training opportunities that are thrown your way. For example, while a teamwork course may not seem directly tied to your career progression, it can actually prove to be beneficial as it will enhance your communication and leadership skills. Both of these skills are essential for those who want to take on managerial roles further down the line.
A work-life balance.
Many healthcare professionals devote themselves entirely to their work. This means that even when they are not at work, they are still thinking about their duties or everything they have to do tomorrow. As a result, this means that they never truly shut off - they are just working unpaid hours when at home. As a result, if you want to succeed in the world of healthcare and remain happy and healthy, it’s important that you curate the perfect work-life balance. While this is often easier said than done, one of the most straightforward ways in which you can begin to curate a work-life balance is by setting healthy boundaries. For example, you should ensure that you keep overtime to a minimum and that you do not take any work home with you.
A solid support system.
Those who wish to work in the healthcare industry are (inadvertently) signing themselves up for a lot of stress and emotional turmoil. This is due to the fact that when caring for people during a vulnerable time in their lives, they do not always make it. When this happens, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or as though you have let people down. However, it’s important to remember that this is simply not the case - sometimes, there is nothing more you can do to help a person, and some things are simply beyond our control.
That being said, this knowledge does not always make negative feelings disappear entirely - meaning that you have to be able to open up and talk about how you are feeling in order to process your grief in a healthy and reasonable manner.
As a result, you need a solid support system at your side. This could include colleagues, friends, or family members. Even if they do not know exactly how you are feeling, they will be there to listen - and this will go a long way towards making you feel better. However, you may also benefit from discussing your feelings with a licensed professional or counselor.
Hobbies and interests outside of their career.
If you find it hard to shut off from work, it may be that you need to develop new hobbies and interests that lie outside of your career. This means that you will be less likely to overwork yourself, as you will always have something else to do or a new skill to develop. Remember, your hobbies can be as varied or unique as you’d like and can cover many different interests at once. For example, you could sign up for cooking or dancing classes - you could try to learn a new language or try your hand at fitness activities such as bouldering.
To put it simply, there are many different things that a healthcare professional needs access to in order to do their job to the best of their ability - and the vast majority of them are not physical. By taking the steps to incorporate the above guidance into your life, you’ll find that you feel less stressed and more focused, and as a result, you’ll perform better at work. Furthermore, whenever you feel as though the above needs are not being met, it’s important you put in the work to address them - whether that means you require more support from your employers or colleagues or need to take a few weeks off to clear your head. Remember, addressing your needs is never selfish - it’s a necessity.