Peel back the layers
The first thing we’re going to do this week is peel back the layers.
We’re going to recognize the source of all this Sunday dread.
It’s not “I have to go back to work tomorrow.”
What is it about work that’s causing you to feel so much dread? Don’t let yourself off with a glib answer here. Really pinpoint the specific things that you dread dealing with.
For example, maybe you’re thinking, “I’m so busy. My schedule is just insane.”
Or maybe you’re always behind in your charting and you feel like you’ll never catch up.
Okay: when your schedule is full or you’re behind on charting, how do you feel? Maybe you feel overwhelmed and out of control.
Identify the root cause, and how it makes you feel.
Address the root cause
Once you’ve identified the root cause, we can start addressing it!
Because we can totally fix feeling overwhelmed and out of control! In my own practice, I used to build breaks into my schedule. The office staff knew that if they wanted to book a patient during those times, they had to come talk to me or my nurse first. I partnered with my nurse and she helped me hold boundaries.
I also created more control and less overwhelm for myself by using rituals at the start and end of the day. At the start of the day, I take a moment in the car to become Dr. Weisman, to step into her shoes. At the end of the day, I text my husband that "Coming home" and then sit in the driver's seat and say to myself, "I'm really coming home" which signifies to me stepping away from Dr. Weisman and back into my role as Errin and Mommy.
If you struggle with charting, consider some additional solutions to you doing it all on your own. Can you get a scribe? Can you use voice notes? Can you have a nurse do pre-visit documentation? Are you over-documenting because of some other deeper fears?
Plan your action steps
Once you’ve come up with some next steps, plan them out. Schedule a meeting with your supervisor, ask a nurse to do pre-visit documentation.
Communicate these frustrations to your boss AND present them with the couple of action steps/options for solving them. He or she will appreciate you already doing the heavy thinking and will be more likely to help you. Also take the initiative to make changes that you can WITHOUT asking if it's not necessary.
Because remember: there’s a doctor shortage! Healthcare needs us, good doctors. It’s in your employer’s best interest to keep you happy, thriving and flourishing.
During my own burnout, I realized that I hated my office and felt very uncomfortable in it. It wasn’t decorated according to my taste. Once I realized this, I brought in more things that made the space feel comfortable to me. I hung a large picture of my family in every exam room. So many of my patients commented on that photo -- they felt a deeper connection to me, and I was happier every time I walked in not only did I see my patient, I got to see my loves too.
Work your plan
Follow through on what you planned to do.
There are going to be obstacles -- some from other people, and some from yourself! You’re going to worry about pissing off your nurse or what people will say if you start making changes (like bringing stuff from home in). Do it anyway!
If you’re stuck in the Sunday dreads, I want to help! I’m offering a colleague to colleague call specifically on the topic of Sunday dreads. Sign up HERE