Being a healthcare worker in 2020 is more stressful than ever as those in the medical field work to ensure the health and safety of their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re one of these modern heroes, work-life balance may be a particularly difficult aspect of the job. You might be working longer, more exhausting hours while wearing personal protective equipment—and you deserve time to relax, unwind, and focus on your non-work priorities. In order to fulfill your job duties to the best of your ability, finding a work-life balance is essential.
What Defines Work-Life Balance?
Work-life balance refers to the relationship between your personal life and your professional life, how much or little they intersect, and how they affect one another. Working in the medical field is demanding and draining; you encounter hardships and countless tragedies on a daily basis. Many staff members struggle to relieve themselves of the emotional burden that comes along with this—which makes it especially important to establish boundaries and healthy habits in order to thrive after hours.
Life as a Medical Assistant
Medical assistants are often the backbones of medical offices, acting as administrative aficionados and patient liaisons. Medical assistants are playing even more crucial roles in our global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic; they work around the clock. Whether it’s administering tests, helping with the new telehealth standards, or just generally assisting with increased patient volumes and strict safety protocols, MAs devote their lives to public health. The stress of the pandemic is weighing on us all, and as a medical assistant, you deserve a break. When you get home after a long shift, you have to be able to take a breath and focus on yourself. Keep reading if you’re interested in learning ways to find a better work-life balance as an MA.
Leave Work at the Office
One of the most important aspects of a good work-life balance is being able to switch your work brain off. Try to focus on non-professional goals and hobbies while you’re not on the clock. Even if you love your job, always being in work-mode is mentally draining. Without the correct mindset, it’ll be much harder to achieve your personal milestones. When talking with friends and family, center the conversations around personal matters, and don’t talk about work the entire time. Your job may be a big part of your life, and while it’s fine to talk about it sometimes, try not to let it dominate your headspace and free time.
With such a demanding profession, you deserve to treat yourself. Self-care is an important part of anyone’s daily routine, but it doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone. For some people, hitting up a yoga class or the gym is the ideal night of self-care. For others, it’s taking a relaxing bubble bath or listening to your favorite podcast. No matter your definition of self-care, you just have to find something to bring you peace, joy, and mental clarity. Experiment with different relaxation techniques, and stick with the ones that make you feel your best.
By taking care of your mind and spirit, you prepare yourself better for another day of hard work. Don’t think of it as being lazy; think of it as recharging your battery.
Take Care of Yourself
Not only is it important to take care of your mind during your free time, but it’s imperative to care for your body. By staying physically healthy, you’re better prepared for a demanding profession.
It starts by making sure you get enough sleep. Being well-rested helps you during long shifts, and it aids in enjoying more of your life outside of work. We’ve all experienced the crash that happens as soon as you clock out on a Friday, which can ruin your days off. Try to aim for 7 to 8 hours a night, but mostly just make sure you find a routine where you wake up feeling rested and refreshed.
Additionally, healthy food is your fuel. While it’s easy to skip your lunch break and snack in between patients, try to optimize your mealtimes. Meal prepping some easy meals and snacks to eat throughout the week will simplify your days and add an elevated level of convenience. This habit also helps you manage your free time better, especially if it's in short supply. When it comes to finding time-saving solutions, work smarter, not harder.
Getting Started on This Career Path
While it can be strenuous, a medical assistant career path is intensely fulfilling—and it’s a great entry into the medical field. Out of all the medical professionals, MAs have the ability to achieve some of the best work-life balance. The nature of the position is dynamic, meaning the exact duties and responsibilities will vary based on a medical office’s needs. Because of this range of possibilities, there is often flexibility when it comes to your hours and responsibility level.
If you think you’d be a good fit for this path, Woodruff can help. Our program will give you all the tools that you need to succeed as a medical assistant.