Habits to Help You Love Your Health Care Job

Do you struggle with loving your job in health care?

Working in health care is not for the weak hearted! It can be challenging physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. Not only do we have to concentrate on delivering evidence based, appropriate care, but then we have to follow that up with tedious documentation which can be draining. Struggling with difficult personalities and situations, insurance requirements, and hefty loans to repay can be daunting. Many specialties require that we spend time and money to be certified, and then we find they are not transferrable to other positions. To top it off, often clinicians who are moved up into management positions are not trained in actual leadership. Having experience working in health care leadership, I was unfortunately left to fend for myself for my own personal development. Many clinicians who are promoted are good administrators, but have not been taught productive communication or team leadership techniques. As a staff clinician, I have frequently seen underutilized talent and micromanaged, poorly encouraged teammates. It’s no wonder that there is so much turnover in healthcare! I have come to see trends with companies repeatedly posting for jobs not because of new growth, but due to staff regularly leaving. So what are we to do? After 30 years in health care I am sad to share that I don’t think the job situation will change(: That means that we have to be proactive and purposefully develop habits that will set ourselves up to maintain our love and passion for our work!

Photo by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography on Unsplash

Develop habits that will help nurture your love for health care:

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Create a personal annual review for yourself. Develop a “5 year ” and “10 year ” plan. Find ways that your current role can help prepare you. (affiliate link)

Decide what job aspects are the most important to you: hours, pay, flexibility, type of clinic, specializing, or moving into leadership. Consider types of jobs that support your goals and provide the aspects that are most valuable to you.

Be prepared with knowledge of the activities and requirements of the job that you love or dislike the most. Try to find ways to use your strengths to improve your job satisfaction and help the company (love marketing/hate chart review?). Likewise, if there are job duties you dislike, see if there are opportunities to avoid those, or make them more tolerable. 

Bargain at review for what is most important to you. Many health agencies are not able to give raises. If you have more than 5 years of experience you could already be close to the “salary cap”. Most positions don’t have bonuses, and much of the “extras” are set in place. Make a list of things that would help you achieve some of your goals. Get creative and try to find ways that your current position could help you. If your goal is to specialize, maybe you could split the cost of a course. Offer to help with committees and tasks that are geared toward your long term goals, if just to gain experience. If you are looking at a future job transition, find someone at your company that you could shadow.

Review your method of reimbursement. As a health care worker, you might be paid by visit, an hourly rate, or a salary. It doesn’t hurt to review this every so often to make sure you are making the most of your position. Consider any changes that have occurred with the amount of visits and documentation requirements, how often you have to attend meetings, or travel to other offices. While your supervisor may not be able to give you a raise, sometimes a change in ‘position’ may provide greater income.

On a regular basis review benefits, vacation time, weekend and holiday requirements. Negotiate flexibility as needed. That is one bonus in health care- there is usually a shortage of employees, and they may be willing to meet your specific needs.

Take the time to be well prepared with educational materials. One of the perks of health care is to know that you have made a positive impact on someone’s well being. You can end up spending hours doing research and developing your own knowledge and materials if your office does not have adequate resources available. If your agency has access to patient education, handouts, or specialized classes that you can participate in, take the time to review them and utilize them for your own development.

Take a class to specialize in an area that you enjoy, or to improve an area that you find challenging. Gather evidence based knowledge for the common diagnoses you will see. Invest in yourself so that you can make a greater impact. You will find greater satisfaction in being more helpful, and may even find more fulfilling roles and improved pay. Invest in a quality education platform that will allow you to explore a variety of areas and classes that you are interested in for one low cost: Use the code CREATIVEHOMETHERAPY for the lowest discount offered on a quality continued education platform at MEDBRIDGE! Just to say THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT- if you use the CREATIVEHOMETHERAPY code for a MEDBRIDGE discount- email me to let me know, and I will send you a free packet of 10 downloadable printable handouts for patient care!

Be a proponent of positive words, and good communication within your group of caregivers. Ask for input from the team for your own personal growth and development: real growth comes from a humble and teachable spirit. Check out this free printable for staff encouragement.

copy and save to print out for your office!

Find resources that will help you continue to love healthcare:

The Non Clinical PT website provides (for a variety of health clinicians) excellent information, encouragement, and ideas for transferring clinical skills to other jobs.

If you are not aware of your strengths or gifting, here are two great tests that can guide you to finding a a great fit: Clifton Strengths Assessment is an excellent career/job focussed assessment and the Gifts, Passions, Story Assessment (GPS) is a spiritually focussed assessment. both of these assessments have helped me to hone in on my strengths and find greater meaning in my work.

Make more effective impact! When you are prepared with good educational resources you are more able to help patients make positive changes. Improved outcomes will help you feel positive about your work. Check out my patient and senior centered educational handouts for maximal efficiency and effectiveness!

Also available in small packets on ETSY.com

I would love to know your thoughts on habits to improve job satisfaction in health care. What has your experience been? What tips would you give to someone considering a job or a job change in this field?

Subscribe for a FREEBIE starter pack of senior health care handouts!

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