The term “Burnout” was is used to describe physical and emotional exhaustion observed mainly in healthcare professionals. This professional burnout develops from emotional, physical and psychological exhaustion. Stress and Burnout is a very significant problem in any hospital or other healthcare organizations. This problem is becoming a very serious day by day in healthcare professionals or medical technologists.
Sonographers, MRI, X-Ray and ct technologists, Mammography technologists, radiation and chemo-therapists, nuclear medicine and Imaging technologist Stress and burnout are part of the professional life of any Imaging technologists. Imaging technologists and vascular scientists are prone to emotional burnout because of chronic stress and the second reason is that they are in some cases treat extremely ill and dying patients every day.
There are multiple stages of burnout caused due to acute stress. Among them is an inner incentive, feeling responsible, bodily & psychological manifestations, fatigue, threatened self-image, cutting off and the last stage is reaching the bottom line. For the human resources team that deals with prevention, the working compensation team, directors, managers, and supervisors that deals with the daily work and the technologists are very important for them to identify factors leading to burnout, recognize who is suffering, and apply prevention techniques to deter burnout and stress in the workplace.
Other potential hazards due to radiation can be minimized by the use of lead aprons, gloves, and other shielding devices but dealing with stress and burnout can challenging for those great technologists and scientists who give us so much with their skills and knowledge Factors contributing to burnout have been identified as staff shortages, compassion fatigue, work environment, and job satisfaction. Gender, age, lower academic status, qualifications, training, and the number of years in the field are indicators of who is suffering.
Patients are also among those identified to be suffering from the burnout of their health care providers. Prevention techniques such as addressing workplace issues, stress reduction programs, and debriefing sessions have been suggested or shown to counteract the effects of stress.
It is important for organizations and individuals together to recognize and attempt to prevent burnout. Signs of the diagnostic and therapeutic technologists suffering from stress and burnout are as follows. The most common and significant sign is chronic fatigue, exhaustion, tiredness. Other than fatigue there are multiple signs can be seen such as anger on those making demands, cynicism, negativity, and constant irritability. Then sleeplessness, depression, weight loss or gain, shortness of breath, suspiciousness, feeling of helplessness and increased the degree of risk-taking is rapidly developed in those technologists suffering from stress and burnout.
For prevention, leaders must recognize that this is the fact of everyday life for nurses, doctors, and technologists, implements protocols and techniques to recognize and help those who are affected with the help of clinical psychologists, a specialized team in stress, depression and anger management. Sometimes a simple change in work can help technologists to avoid early warning signs of burnout.
To counteract the effect of stress and burnout prevention techniques like workplace issues, debriefing sessions and stress reduction programs are suggested by the therapist. Reduce the number of patients to be scanned, increase the time of each case as we say put quality before quantity and do slow change and everybody wins. The leaders should hire only qualified and educated skillful managers and directors who have the knowledge and research back round to deal with this problem.
Don’t point the finger but point the facts. Teach your technologists, guide them, give them chance and opportunities, recognize their contribution and skill, help them to achieve successes and life balance as the key issue in life is a balance. Balance life and work, try to put predictors and indicators to notice any behavioral changes in your workers and help them out. For recognition and prevention burnout, individual and organization must work together.
Thank you and my great appreciations to all of the technologists, scientists and nurses who help and assist the patients and contribute to our great knowledge and understanding of this life .
Ph.D. Public Health MSc -Medical ultrasound
BSc- Diagnostic Imaging Alberta – Canada