As a hospitalist launches their career, it can be an exciting, yet challenging time. Requirements of the job consist of exceeding a demanding schedule, moving at a fast pace, and facing pressures when it comes to clinical duties and patient outcomes. The transition from residency to a first-year hospitalist can not only be overwhelming, but tiresome. To facilitate a successful progression into the career, a few things should be considered.
So as not to struggle and experience extreme fatigue or burnout in their first year, hospitalists should try adhering to the following:
- Limit extracurricular activities. Especially during the first year as a hospitalist, it’s important not to spread yourself too thin. Focusing on the workload at hand and your new roles and responsibilities will often be enough to keep you more than occupied and in a state of continuous learning. Save the extracurricular activities for your second or even third year, when you have had a chance to learn how to effectively juggle your schedule, capacity, and personal life.
- Keep expectations to a minimum. When you begin your career as a hospitalist, it may be easy to get ahead of yourself by making unrealistic expectations in the workforce. By not putting too much on your plate at once and taking your job day by day instead of planning too far into the future, you can take active measures to limit your stress levels.
- Pair up with a trusted mentor. It’s important to develop a relationship with an experienced hospitalist who has been in your shoes before. By setting aside time regularly to communicate with your mentor, you will likely receive quality advice and direction. A mentor can help you when you are experiencing exhaustion or if you have questions on next steps – whether regarding the care plan of a patient or asking for a second opinion.
- Know your limits. Sometimes first-year hospitalists can overwork themselves to get experience under their belts. Overextending can lead to careless mistakes, fatigue, and issues with patient safety. It’s important to know what your limits are, so you can make the appropriate decisions on whether to take on more work, or halt where you are.
- Ask for outside feedback. It’s important to seek guidance and advice from reliable sources even outside of your mentor. Before deploying major care plans, first-year hospitalists should double-check their plan of action with their colleagues. Some may see this as a lack of confidence, but in fact, it is just the opposite. Putting aside your pride and looking to someone wiser than you can show humility and growth. By consistently seeking sensible counsel from others in your field, you are likely to gain helpful insight that will likely help you in your career as a hospitalist.
- Expect to be autonomous. If you are not used to working independently, then you may have a harder time adjusting in your first year as a hospitalist. Before starting your career as a hospitalist, it may be beneficial to take a course or two on leadership and problem solving. This will not only help with your transition into the field but will help with overall satisfaction and encouragement throughout your journey.
- Consider working larger scale. As a first-year hospitalist, it’s important to have a good support system in place. By choosing to start out working for a larger health organization you are likely to be working alongside multiple hospitalists, and in turn, will have access to a diverse group of specialists to bounce ideas and questions off of.
- Take time away. If you want to be your best, you must make a conscious effort to block time off on your calendar to spend away from the hospital. Although it may be more challenging during your first year to take vacation, you must make it a priority to spend even a few long weekends unplugged to recharge.
At the end of the day, one of the most important things to remember is why you chose the profession. Your passion will be the driver of your stamina and outlook, so try not to forget how and why you arrived here in the first place, even if your work life becomes overwhelming as a first year hospitalist and beyond.
Contact Advanced Care Hospitalists to Learn More
ACH is a Lakeland-based hospitalist group providing comprehensive patient care in community hospitals across Central Florida. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, services, providers or becoming a partner facility, please call us at 863-816-5884 or fill out a contact form online.