Know how to recognize the signs of administrator burnout and take proactive steps to address underlying causes and make intentional changes for the long-term success of administrators and the ASCs they serve.
Picture this: You've been working as the administrator of an ASC for several years, and you're good at it. Your surgery center performs well. Physicians and staff are happy. Outcomes are excellent. Distributions are consistent. But for some reason, it's becoming more difficult to get excited about going to work.
Does this sound familiar? If so, you might be suffering from burnout. And you're not alone.
Professional burnout is common in all industries. There are many reasons why it seems a growing number of ASC administrators are experiencing burnout. Over the past few years, the position has grown more difficult and the hours longer. More procedures are being performed at surgery centers. It takes tremendous time and effort to keep up with new and ever-changing regulations, standards, and quality measures. Staying profitable isn't as easy as it once was as ASCs face decreasing reimbursement and increasing costs. Effective management of staff from different generations can be difficult. Juggling these challenges feels like a full-time job on its own.
Unless identified and addressed, burnout can have significant personal and professional ramifications.
Feeling the Burn(out)
Not sure if you're experiencing burnout? Here are three warning signs to watch for that may point to a bigger problem than just having a bad week.
1. You outgrow your position.
ASCs are successful because they often run on predictable routines that play a critical role in the delivery of safe care. When a procedure goes according to plan, outcomes are typically strong. But routine in a job can take its toll. If you experience the following:
you arrive at work and begin your day the same way you always do;
you walk through the facility and say hello to everyone;
you smile and try to look upbeat;
you go to your office and log onto the computer;
you pull up your to-do list;
you stare at the screen, feeling emotionless …
… it may be time for a change. While it's unreasonable to expect excitement every day you come into the ASC, extended disinterest or ennui may indicate the need for the "next step" in your career.
2. You feel trapped.
Once a leader gets to the bored, but complacent stage, it can become more difficult to stay engaged with the challenges of running the ASC (e.g., keeping up with employee issues, chasing down required information). If you want to avoid falling deeper into complacency, it may be time to step back, identify the areas that contribute to your stress, and consider ways to implement changes within your control.
Reconnecting with the aspects of your job that initially sparked your passion and interest can be a challenging but worthwhile endeavor. Focus on making deliberate efforts that help you regain a sense of fulfillment and purpose.
3. You question your position or career.
There's a great song by Peggy Lee titled "Is That All There Is?" While this makes for a nice line in a chorus, it's not a great sentiment for a job. Finding yourself asking "Is that all there is?" about your position may reveal the true feelings you possess about where you are in your career.
Cultivating Sustainable Success
Feeling professional burnout doesn’t mean you aren’t good at your job. In fact, it can affect even the most skilled and dedicated individuals. And while it often feels very overwhelming in the moment, acknowledging burnout doesn’t always have to result in a complete career switch. Sometimes, a simple change to your daily routine can make a significant difference.
Small adjustments, such as prioritizing breaks, incorporating mindfulness or exercise into your day, setting boundaries, seeking support from colleagues, and even implementing digital solutions to promote workflow efficiency, can help alleviate stress and restore balance. Additionally, exploring opportunities for professional development can be an effective strategy.
Remember, self-care is not selfish; it is essential for maintaining your well-being and enhancing your productivity. Being able to recognize the signs allows you to take proactive steps to address the underlying causes and make intentional changes to your routine, creating a healthier and more sustainable work environment that supports your own well-being and ensures the long-term success of the ASC you serve.