Psychiatrist Burnout - It's Time to Take Care of Yourself Too

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May 04, 2023

Psychiatrist Burnout - It's Time to Take Care of Yourself Too

Did you know that psychiatrists are more vulnerable to experiencing burnout than other physicians? Though bureaucratic tasks top the list, there are many other factors like long working hours, not having enough time to spend with patients, and increased use of EHRs, that contribute to their burnout. A latest research says that psychiatrists can also suffer from stress due to their interactions with patients. Yes, dealing with difficult patients can be so frustrating. They will have to handle patients who can be demanding and even deal with intense situations. Listening to patients' problems day in, day out makes them feel overworked and fatigued. On top of that, working long, irregular hours and the increased workload associated with documenting patient information adds up to their stress levels. But, if you see most of the causes are related to time: too much time on specific tasks, not enough time with patients, and working overtime. Hence, looking for ways to improve practice efficiency can help reduce time-consuming, tedious tasks that trigger a burnout. So, one approach to preventing burnout in psychiatrists is using a medical scribe to help with note-taking and other administrative tasks.

Challenging patient visits and charting requirements

Stress forms an inseparable part of a psychiatrist's daily life. Working insane hours, particularly in invalidating, exhausting or toxic environments is stressful. Working with patients with aggressive behavior, persistent delusions, depression or anxiety, demands high focus and diagnostic abilities to identify the root cause and create a treatment plan. Amidst this, documenting patient details could be extremely challenging. In addition, most of the psychiatrists do not clock in and out and leave work at work. They bring home work and end up charting late into the nights. In addition to charting tasks that bleed into their personal time, the emotional weight of their work can also affect their non-work life. No wonder, nearly 50% of psychiatrists experience burnout. Hence, it is wise to consider reducing work hours and taking the help of scribes for administrative support.

Ten quick, yet hard to believe facts about burnout in psychiatrists

1. Psychiatrists are susceptible to experiencing symptoms of burnout and depression at a substantial rate.

2. The COVID -19 pandemic has had a profound impact on psychiatrists' level of happiness outside work.

3. Female psychiatrists reported higher levels of burnout when compared to their male counterparts. This gender difference is mainly because of greater demands and expectations related to their family life.(shouldered greater responsibilities related to their family life)

4. Non-clinical factors like too many bureaucratic tasks and long hours at work were identified as the main triggers for burnout in psychiatrists.

5. 7 out of 10 psychiatrists admitted that burnout negatively impacted their personal relationships.

6.Half of the psychiatrists were willing to trade off compensation for more me time.

7. 15% of psychiatrists said that they would opt to treat themselves for depression because of the fear and stigma associated with mental health.

8. 40% of German psychiatrists admitted that they had experienced depressive symptoms compared to 17% lifetime prevalence of depression among the general German population.

9. 31% of Canadian psychiatrists disclosed that they have had a personal history of mental illness.

10. A research on physician suicidal behaviors, observed that suicide rates among psychiatrists were higher than among other physicians.

What can mental health providers do to reduce burnout symptoms?

The following are some of the suggestions for counteracting burnout in psychiatrists and maintaining their passion for practicing medicine. Taking time off, going on a vacation, opting shorter work shifts, making time for self-care like doing exercises, getting more sleep, listening to music, rereading a favorite book, talking with family and friends and seeking professional help for burnout, depression, or both can help alleviate burnout. Most importantly they should not hesitate to delegate time-consuming, monotonous tasks such as administrative paperwork by using the medical scribes. The use of scribes can help reduce burnout and improve physician satisfaction and wellbeing because they can significantly reduce the documentation burden.

The upshot

Psychiatrists have highly demanding schedules filled with constant emotionally complex interpersonal interactions, excessive workloads, longer shifts, administrative burden such as managing EHRs, all while keeping up with regulatory requirements. Huff, sounds quite intimidating! Well, if you are a Psychiatrist struggling with burnout symptoms it's time to take care of yourself before you can possibly take care of your patients. Remember, burnout doesn't have to be a reality. Taking help from Scribe4Me's medical scribes can help to reduce the amount of time you spend on non-clinical tasks and spend more time doing what you love doing the most: delivering excellent patient care. To learn more about how you can benefit from our scribing services give us a call at (908)736-4180 or email us at [email protected].

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