Guest blog by Andy Adams, Practice Manager at Quantock Vale Surgery
Put innovation and balance into practice….
I started my working career working in the corporate banking sector, this gave me the opportunity to travel and experience different cultures, this became an obsession to strive for innovation and entrepreneurship working with international businesses from all over the world. I found leadership is a critical skill and behaviour, in high pressure, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environments.
These critical skills have helped me focus on practice management to try and break the mould to achieve a work-life balance. But how do we define and attain the elusive balance in our current reality being a healthcare professional? For me, balance is about achieving that level of equilibrium between the demands of work and other aspects of our life, such as time with family and friends. One thing post-pandemic taught me is that the boundaries between work and my personal life easily became blurred, and wellbeing is critically important to success within healthcare.
Working in healthcare can be rewarding, but also stressful, demanding, and exhausting. Healthcare staff face increased risks of burnout, compassion fatigue, and mental and physical health issues. That’s why it’s important to prioritise your own wellbeing, not only for your own sake, but also for your patients, colleagues, and family. Here are some tips on how to do that:
One of the first steps to prioritise your wellbeing is to set healthy boundaries between your work and personal life. This means respecting your work schedule, sometimes saying no to overtime or tasks that are not urgent or essential, and delegating or asking for help when needed. It also means avoiding checking work-related emails, messages, or calls when you are not working, unless it’s an emergency. Setting boundaries can help you reduce stress, prevent burnout, and protect your time and energy for yourself and your family.
Celebrate your achievements
Never forget to celebrate your achievements, big or small, as a healthcare professional. You work hard every day to provide quality patient care to make a difference in your community. You deserve to acknowledge your efforts, accomplishments, and contributions, and reward yourself for them. You can celebrate your achievements by giving yourself praise, feedback, or compliments, treating yourself to something you enjoy, sharing your success stories with others, or setting new goals for yourself.
This year I was shortlisted for Practice Manager of the year at the PMA awards at the NEC in Birmingham at the Best Practice Event 2023. I was delighted to be one of the winners at the event bringing this prestigious award back to Somerset.
Self-care is not a luxury, but a necessity for healthcare professionals. It involves taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional needs, and finding activities that make you feel happy, relaxed, and fulfilled. Some examples of self-care are getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, meditating, reading, listening to music, or spending time with friends and family. Self-care can help you cope with stress, improve your mood, boost your immune system, and enhance your performance and productivity.
Another way to prioritise your wellbeing is to seek support from others who understand what you are going through. This can be your work colleagues, mentors, or peers who work in healthcare and can relate to your challenges, frustrations, and achievements. You can also join online or offline communities, groups, or networks of healthcare professionals who can offer you advice, encouragement, and resources. Seeking support can help you feel less isolated, more connected, and more confident in your role.
Finally, learning new skills can also benefit your wellbeing, as well as your career. It can help you keep up with the latest trends, innovations, and best practices in healthcare management, and enhance your knowledge, competence, and credibility. It can also stimulate your curiosity, creativity, and motivation, and challenge you to grow and improve. You can learn new skills by taking online courses, attending webinars, workshops, or conferences, reading books, articles and listening to podcasts.