How to Avoid Holiday Burnout as a Healthcare Leader

Healthcare leader suffering holiday burnout

‘Tis the season to be jolly! December is filled with multicultural celebrations, from Christmas and Hanukkah to Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve. Many look forward to additional opportunities to spend time with family and friends, planning celebratory meals, hosting get-togethers, decorating homes, and shopping for the perfect gifts. While these fun events can bring a lot of happiness, they also can leave some people feeling overwhelmed, especially those in the healthcare field.

As a hospital administrator or medical practice manager, you must ensure operations at your healthcare organization run smoothly throughout this eventful month. Apart from your usual obligations, you’re likely to see an increase in staff requests for time off, feel the demands of cold and flu season (the busiest time of the year for many facilities), and/or experience longer wait times for inpatient beds, resulting in a crowded emergency department. Factor in the time you want to allow for personal holiday preparations and gatherings, and you quickly have a recipe for burnout.

Fortunately, you can take several measures to meet work- and holiday-related objectives while simultaneously keeping your spirits bright.

  1. Delegate. Although you can probably tackle a lot of tasks simultaneously, it’s impossible to do everything. Empower your direct reports and other colleagues to share some of your less urgent duties. This frees you up to focus on seasonal issues and the most pressing matters at your healthcare organization. Additionally, this simple step increases engagement from other members of your team. 

    On the home front, ask family members or friends for a hand with your holiday-related tasks, from picking up ingredients for your signature holiday dishes to spearheading decorations. Consider conducting most of your shopping online and/or arranging for a caterer to prepare your holiday meal.

  2. Don’t say yes to everything. Establish boundaries, stick to them, and don’t worry about letting anyone down. Before you RSVP to an invitation for a party or accept a holiday-related project, ask yourself one question: Does saying yes bring me joy or stress? It’s perfectly acceptable to decline an invitation around the holidays, and your time is precious, so you must spend it only on the most important events. Good friends and family members will understand.
  3. Consider arranging some support through locum tenens staffing services. If your staff is stretched to the limit due to seasonal demands at your facility and some of your providers have requested time off on or around the holidays, locum tenens professionals can quickly come into your facility, fill in the gaps, and ensure continuity of quality patient care.
  4. Establish a holiday hours policy. In particular, this tip is geared to practice managers. Institute a plan, communicate it to staff, and ensure it’s available for employees’ review at all times. A holiday hours policy eliminates assumptions and frustration by addressing how requests for time off on or around the holidays will be handled, how many staff members can be out of the office simultaneously, holiday pay, and other relevant information.

Discover how Medicus Healthcare Solutions can help you with your staffing needs by calling 855-301-0563 to speak with an experienced business development executive today.

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