How to Combat Burnout in Your Dental Practice

Even in normal times, dental practice professionals operate under a chronic stage of fatigue and burnout. It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself as you focus your energy on patients and staff. In fact, it has become such an issue in the dental industry that U.S. Congress recently passed the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, “legislation that will give health care workers better access to education and training in order to prevent stress and burnout,” according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Here’s a list of subtle reminders of how to take care of yourself in the face of burnout.

Take inventory

Set aside time to get to the root of any negative thoughts and emotions. What is it about your current work situation that is contributing to impending burnout, and what is your team doing to prevent it? Determine if your big feelings are actually tied to your work environment before making any big life decisions about your career path, like retirement or changing dental practices amid a hiring crisis.

Schedule time

Just as you would with any other commitments, add intentions to your calendar and treat them like as such. Making time to exercise, meditate, meet a friend for coffee or learn a new skill (work related or not!) will only contribute to your overall well-being if you make a plan and stick to it.

Take a break

Oftentimes, the best way to take a step back from reality is to take time off to yourself. Even if staying close to home, use that time to assess what’s important in your life and make those a priority. Ask yourself: Where does work fit into the big picture of your overall well-being, what can be done to improve that, and how can your staff help?

Make connections

While at work, focus on the reason you got into practicing dentistry in the first place: the patients. Make a point to connect on a deeper level to establish a two-way street of trust. By showing up with intention, you will also foster a healthy team spirit and start to treat others as you want to be treated.

Communicate openly

Above all, if you’re feeling burnt out, the best example you can set is by speaking up about your needs to your team members. Whether you’re feeling rushed while seeing patients throughout the day or need better access to resources or technologies, chances are, you aren’t the only one feeling that way. Putting your energy into solving any problems you encounter will only pay off for you and your staff in the long run.

What’s next?

Contact the experts at Professional Transition Strategies to learn more ways to keep your dental practice and its staff operating at maximum efficiency.