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The Best Ways to Reduce Stress and Burnout in Radiology Practice

SyberScribe AUTHOR: SyberScribe, March 13th, 2018

Syberscribe - Reduce Stress and Burnout in Radiology Practice

If you’ve been working in Radiology for any length of time you know that many practices can be stressful. Staff burnout is more common than you think and often there simply aren’t processes in place to effectively reduce stress for Radiology staff.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the stress in your office. Help your staff focus on performing their jobs with these smart methods for reducing costly workplace burnout.

1. Know the early warning signs

Managing stress means knowing how to spot the symptoms. Through a combination of awareness, open dialogue and creating a working environment where staff feel encouraged to speak up, you can foster a working environment where everyone can spot the early warning signs.

What are they? Consider the following as they apply to your workplace:

  • Chaotic work environment
  • Hyperfocused, uncommunicative staff
  • Workload backlog
  • Admin piling up
  • Lack of leadership
  • No time for staff leave
  • Changes in staff schedule lead to more disruption

Does any of this sound like your workplace? Don’t worry, spotting the symptoms is the first step to avoiding workplace stress.

2. Identify staff with high stress tolerance

We might consider high stress tolerance to be a good thing, but people who constantly work under stress just because they can tolerate it are likely to experience burnout at work. In fact, it is the number 1 cause of workplace burnout. Staff who can take a lot of stress may show signs of being hyper focused, uncommunicative or skip lunch breaks and even rostered leave.

Communication is key to helping staff recognise their tolerance for stress levels. Within your Radiology department should be encouraged to speak up about stress or speak to coworkers who push themselves in a stressful environment.

3. Organise your work environment

Practices and departments that feel constantly chaotic, lack structure and clearly defined processes are more likely to have staff who experience burnout. Management should work towards providing a work environment that is:

  • Scheduled
  • Structured
  • Organised

With clear boundaries, transparent process and accessible for all. Part of working in the medical field is accepting some degree of the unexpected, but managing stress from these events comes down to having reliable processes in place.

4. Be aware of ‘contact stress’ from patients

Humans are empathetic. When we are around people who are stressed, we necessarily take on some of that stress as well. Interacting with patients who are suffering from stress will heighten the capacity for burnout with your staff.

Obviously in a radiology and oncology practice you can’t prevent stressful patients, but there’s much that can be done for managing stress among employees and providing outlets and opportunities for stress relief for staff. Consider:

  • Quiet rooms where staff can decompress during breaks or when they feel too stressed
  • Regular counselling opportunities for staff
  • Strategic rotation of staff duties to prevent overexposure for particular staff.

Remember, some staff members have a higher tolerance for stress than others, but that doesn’t mean increased stress is good for them, only that they’ll take on more before reaching burnout point.

5. Reduce admin and streamline paperwork

Paperwork that piles up and eats into valuable time can be a significant cause of stress. Needless bureaucracy, inefficient processes and outdated systems can drive high performing staff into the ground.

To better manage stress in your radiology, why not consult a business analyst or process improvement strategist to better streamline the administrative tasks in your practice. Investigate how cloud based solutions can make your administration efforts more streamlined and at the push of a button.

6. Promote good leadership

Lack of leadership could result from absent management, poor management or conflicts between staff and management. Regardless of the size of the practice, an absence of leadership eats away at the trust between staff and organisation. Burnout occurs when your team members don’t have reliable direction from leadership, leading to breakdown in communications and increased stress for the entire team.

7. Follow through on leave and holiday time

Everyone needs a break from work. Even the most highly functioning staff need time to decompress and reconnect. It’s essential then that your practice follows through on leave for staff and provides an environment where staff understand both their obligations in applying for leave and their requirements to take it. For the practice, this means:

  • Approving leave time for staff
  • Providing ample leave within a given award or contract
  • Ensuring proper staff scheduling
  • Promoting staff to use their leave

Leave from work is essential for maintaining consistent high standards in both productivity and wellbeing.

8. Outsource to professionals

Key to managing stress and reducing staff burnout is to ensure you have the right staff for the right job. That’s where SyberScribe can help. There are many benefits to outsourcing medical record transcriptions; forget burdening your staff with lengthy transcriptions of radiology recordings. Instead, put your trust in the Radiology transcription professionals. SyberScribe can provide timely and accurate transcriptions of medical recordings for practices of all sizes. Reduce the stress around your workplace, talk to SyberScribe today.