Managing Your Workload As A New GP
For anyone who has just graduated as a General Practitioner (GP), congratulations. You are about to enter into a wonderfully enjoyable career path that is immensely rewarding.
However, the rising demand for patients and the dwindling numbers in the industry means you might be working more than ever. With the demand on GPs now meaning you are likely to be dealing with upwards of 30 patients in any given day, the workload can become pretty extensive.
If you want to avoid the stress of the job leaving you unable to work with serenity, then it’s time to make a change. Here are some actionable tips to avoid burnout.
Make the best decision, first time round
Be responsible when it comes to choosing the right surgery for you. It’s obvious, but if you can avoid working in an environment that would potentially cause you to stress at a later date, now is the time to do it.
Figure out what is important to you in a job role; the things that are going to make you happy at work.
Visit the surgery informally; get a feel for the culture of the place, separate from the artificial setting of an interview. Ask about the people currently working at the practice, get an idea of workload and in particular, how things like paperwork, home visits and the duty dr system are managed. These areas of your work are likely to have the biggest negative impact on your day to day, if they are not managed correctly, or if there are inefficient systems in place.
Learning to Say No
One of the most powerful tools you have is the ability to just say no. As a medical expert, you are naturally inclined to want to help people. What you will find, though, is that being able to say no is the kind of liberation that you need to get over a particular problem you are dealing with.
As a new GP, you can often agree to working too much or entering into tasks that you are simply not qualified to deal with. Get to know what you can and cannot do, this will help you to avoid walking into a situation where you become even more run down and stressed.
Know your limits! Don’t put the health of others at risk by taking part in extra work that drastically increases your workload and causes more stress. Instead, make sure that you limit how long you are working and that you do not take on too much. The more you can limit yourself to excess, the more likely you are to produce a good positive performance at work.
Having a support network of other GP’s and colleagues is important, as well as knowing what support is offered to GP’s in your area. This can give you the chance to discuss issues at work as well as look at work performance, and help you to keep improving. Also, having a solid support network outside of work, such as friends, family or even being a member a sports team or recreational group, can help you to relax and enjoy time away from work.
As a young GP, you might want to try and take on everything all at once. By surrounding yourself with the right support, you should find it easier to stay in charge of your energy and know when you are taking on too much. Don’t treat this any less seriously than you would the health of your own patients; they are relying upon you to be in good health so that you can help them.