Working in the healthcare industry amounts to unimaginable stress with gruelingly long hours and little to no work-life balance. Nowadays, almost every healthcare worker struggles to maintain balance in their professional and personal life. And if they pursue educational prospects, it becomes even more challenging. Since healthcare is an incredibly dynamic field, healthcare workers are compelled to earn higher academic credentials to boost their careers. Every healthcare professional is aware of the significance of higher education for their career development.
And while it may seem overwhelming at the surface, it isn’t impossible to pursue further education alongside work. When approached with the right mindset, working full-time and pursuing higher education can result in a mutually beneficial endeavor for both healthcare professionals and the industry. It offers them multiple avenues to seek career development opportunities while improving their clinical expertise and patient outcomes.
So, if you’re willing to go down this road, our guide will ease the process for you. Below, we’ll discuss some practical ways to manage work and studies simultaneously.
Benefit from eLearning
In today’s digitally progressive era, eLearning has become a preferred option for many working professionals. Since healthcare workers’ job is highly unpredictable and demanding, managing time to visit classes in a physical setting becomes challenging. Fortunately, online education provides them the ease of mind to attend lectures anywhere, whether at work or home. Moreover, the curriculum designed for online learners also factors in their work hours and job responsibilities. So, whether you’re a nurse or doctor, you can leverage eLearning to earn higher education credentials. And even if you have queries regarding an online degree, you can conveniently browse your chosen university’s website to elicit answers. For instance, nurses willing to pursue higher education often have questions like: how long does it take to get your masters in nursing, or which specialty is in demand? So, a simple click can instantly provide them with all the answers.
Therefore, to strive for balance in your professional and personal life, make the most of eLearning opportunities.
Look after your health
Continuous physical and mental exhaustion due to long shifts and educational burdens can quickly lead to burnout. One reason why working professionals get overwhelmed and stressed out is that they don’t prioritize their well-being. Poor physical and mental health leads to fatigue, irritation, tiredness, and loss of concentration. Maintaining healthy habits and a good diet is crucial if you wish to give your full potential to work and studies.
An exhausted mind and body will have you compromising your work and eventually jeopardizing your career. So, start by getting sufficient sleep, and don’t start your day on an empty stomach. Stock up on easy-to-eat snacks for quick lunch breaks during studying or a shift. Invest in your health, make time for it, and indulge in self-care to juggle multiple things.
Prioritize your tasks
Organizing and managing your tasks will prove beneficial in removing some burden off your shoulders. Since you’ll already face immense pressure to keep up with your personal and professional life, add late assignments and missed shifts to it, and it will become a mess. Therefore, you should work with a daily planner or to-do list to help you prioritize tasks. Set priorities and implement a solid time-management strategy. Cut out activities that are time-consuming and automate where possible. Take help from technology and outsource whatever you can.
Moreover, try to block out distractions when working on something critical. These distractions could be your phone, unnecessary breaks, and whatnot. Try to remain productive throughout your working hours and set daily goals for motivation.
Practice stress management techniques
Stress is something everyone battles, and unfortunately, healthcare professionals work under stress constantly. With the pressure of providing quality care to patients, it can become almost impossible to prevent the stress of studies. Therefore, the best way to deal with work/study imbalance is to learn to control your stress. Besides, being stressed can affect you physically as well. You may feel depressed, demotivated, underwhelmed, and even anxious, all of which can drag you down.
Try indulging in various meditation techniques and learn to control your nerves. Likewise, identify stress triggers and prevent them from affecting your productivity. Remember, there is always an option to seek professional help when things seem out of control.
Want to achieve a harmonious work-study balance? Then learn to say no. And we don’t mean saying no to patients or healthcare emergencies. But, it’s best not to commit to activities that you can’t perform with total efficiency when you have a full schedule. As a healthcare professional, working overtime can increase the risk of making mistakes, thus endangering patient health.
Try making a realistic schedule and detach from work when you are done with your shift. Invest that free time for your educational activities and also dedicate workspace for it. To avoid interruptions, set specific work and study hours and notify relevant people about your schedule.
Utilize available resources
As a healthcare professional, you may have unlimited access to hospital libraries, medical literature, and research papers to help you with your studies. You can use a massive collection of your hospital’s data to save time for your research project. You can even take help from other experienced healthcare professionals while not compromising on your job.
Moreover, if you’re unable to manage work and studies on a given day, utilize Telehealth tools to communicate with your patients and staff members. The resources are abundant out there, but it’s up to you to leverage them to your advantage.
As an overworked and exhausted healthcare professional, juggling anything else with your full-time job can seem impossible. The gruelingly long schedule, pressure to provide the best patient care, and commitment to grow can all seem overwhelming at times. Fortunately, it is not impossible to balance these things out. With the above tried and tested tips, healthcare professionals can manage their studies and work effectively. Pursue your education online, utilize available resources, make time for your health, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving a work-life balance.