While anesthesiologists are best known for putting patients to “sleep” for surgery, they also have other responsibilities related to patients’ comfort, safety and overall well-being. In addition, they must possess a unique blend of technical and soft skills combined with a fit physical condition in order to work efficiently in high-pressure situations that have proven to create increasing levels of stress.
Anesthesia specialists have plenty of stress, and differentiating burnout and resulting disorders such as depression, can be tricky. But there are steps physicians can take to shore up their mental and physical health to keep burnout and depression at bay.
A 2021 Medscape survey found that 20% of physicians report clinical depression, defined in the survey as “severe depression, lasting some time, not caused by a normal grief event,” while 69% report colloquial depression, or ”feeling down, blue, sad.” Nearly two-thirds of healthcare professionals report that worry or stress related to COVID-19 has had a negative effect on their mental health, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF)/Washington Post survey.
The top reasons physicians seem to be particularly prone to burnout and depression include:
- Lack of sleep
- Heavy workload and work inefficiency
- Lack of autonomy and meaning in work
- Work-home conflicts
Also, because some patients or their families may be fearful or anxious when facing surgery, anesthesiologists must have an excellent bedside manner. A patient complaint can create stress, so they must be able to show empathy, build rapport quickly and have an assuring presence.
Be at the Top of Your Game in These Skills
- Physically Fit – Ability to stand for long periods and to move patients and equipment
- Manual Dexterity – Precise hand-eye coordination
- Critical Thinking – Using logic and reasoning in solutions to problems
- Active Listening – Giving full attention and asking questions
- Monitoring – Monitor/Assess performance of yourself to make improvements
- Communicating – Speak and write effectively to convey information
- Time Management – Managing your own time efficiently
- Active Learning – Stay current on new information for problem-solving and decision-making
- Service Orientation – Actively looking for ways to help people
- Psychology – Knowledge of human behavior and performance
- Integrity – Always being honest and ethical
- Stress Tolerance – Accept criticism and deal with it calmly
- Adaptability/Flexibility – Be open to change and variety in the workplace
- Self Control – Maintain composure and avoid aggressive behavior
- Initiative – Take on new responsibilities and challenges
- Leadership – Willingness to lead, take charge and offer opinions and direction
- Social Orientation – Work with and be personally connected with others on the job
- Innovation – Use creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas and answers
- Achievement/Effort – Establish and exert effort towards personally challenging achievement goals
By being mentally and physically fit in these skills and work ethics will help you to act decisively and correctly with confidence, providing self-worth for a long and fulfilling career.
The Biggest Stressor of Being a Physician, Unraveled. mdlinx.com
Anesthesiologist Career. Mymajors.com
Anesthesiologist Skills. work.chron.com