The Beyond Patients Blog


Always On!!!

#alwaysonfatigue Jul 18, 2023

In a hyperconnected world, the pervasive nature of "Always-On Fatigue" affects individuals across various professions. While not unique to this new epidemic, healthcare providers endure unique pressures that exacerbate this exhaustion, especially leaders and owners of healthcare practices. The demands of the healthcare field, combined with the constant connectivity of the digital age, contribute to physical and emotional fatigue among these dedicated professionals. It's important that we shed light on the specific challenges faced by healthcare providers and explore strategies to navigate the relentless nature of "Always-On Fatigue."

The Unrelenting Pressures on Healthcare Providers:

  1. Demanding Workloads: Healthcare professionals often face heavy workloads, extended shifts, and increasing patient volumes. If we get more specific, the additional demands of wearing multiple ownership, marketing and business analytics hats can almost crush even the hardest of these professionals. From the outside, these professions and the appearance of the lifestyle they've created looks envious. However, the real story of physical and mental demands of caring for others, coupled with the responsibility of making critical decisions AND often running a business with employee needs can contribute to unbearably heightened levels of stress and fatigue.

  2. Emotional Toll: Dealing with illness, pain, and loss on a daily basis can take a significant emotional toll on healthcare providers. The empathy required in their roles can lead to compassion fatigue, making it challenging to disconnect emotionally even during personal time. Just ask their family! Or wait, maybe don't.

  3. Constant Connectivity: The integration of technology in healthcare has increased the expectations for constant availability to health insurance providers, other colleagues, administrative needs, patient needs and staffing requirements. Healthcare providers are expected to respond to messages, review medical records, continue staying updated on the latest research, best practices and industry trends, and stay current on submitting never-ending patient medical notes and records...all this blurring the line between work and personal life. Many healthcare providers learn quickly the gig isn't exactly what they thought they were signing up for. 

Strategies for Navigating "Always-On Fatigue":

  1. Establish Clear Boundaries: Set explicit boundaries between work and personal life. Designate specific times for rest, self-care, and engaging in activities unrelated to work. Communicate these boundaries to colleagues and establish support systems to ensure adequate coverage during personal time. Developing specific sets of systems in your practice is critical to creating boundaries!

  2. Practice Self-Care: Prioritize self-care activities to replenish physical and emotional well-being. Engage in exercise, mindfulness practices, hobbies, or activities that provide relaxation and joy. Taking care of oneself is crucial for building resilience and combating fatigue. Right now you maybe can't see past the stack of work on your own desk. Take small steps toward the bigger goal. Being consistently intentional about this will create more of what you want and what fills you up.

  3. Seek Support: Foster a network of supportive colleagues and mentors who understand the unique challenges of the healthcare profession. This might be meeting for coffee or a specific mastermind group. Share experiences, seek guidance, and engage in things that are positive and forward moving, not complaining about your current reality...anyone can find these toxic relationships. That's not you! Connecting with others who can empathize and offer support, guidance and accountability that will alleviate the sense of isolation. Don't follow the path of "Island Dweller".

  4. Embrace Mindful Technology Use: Utilize technology mindfully to prevent it from exacerbating fatigue. Establish specific times for checking emails and messages, and limit unnecessary digital distractions. Consider utilizing apps or tools that promote mindfulness and help manage screen time. Remember, YOU are in control of your life. So start acting like it!

  5. Advocate for Work-Life Balance: Promote a culture of work-life balance within your practice or organization. Encourage policies and a way of life that prioritize reasonable work hours, adequate rest periods, personal connection and supportive environments that value the well-being of healthcare providers. This kind of working environment is contagious (pun intended) and will result in higher staff retention AND greater patient demand for your service. Remember this Walt Disney quote:

    -"Do what you do so well that they will want to see you do it again and bring their friends"-

Healthcare providers face unique challenges in navigating "Always-On Fatigue" due to the demanding nature of their profession. Acknowledging the pressures you encounter and implementing strategies to mitigate the impact is essential for your well-being, those who work for you and your quality of patient care. By setting boundaries, practicing self-care, seeking support, embracing mindful technology use, and advocating for work-life balance, you can find ways to navigate the relentless demands of your roles while maintaining physical, emotional, and mental health. Remember what happens when you create culture and systems that are at the top of your industry...your team and patients will love what you do so much that they will bring others to see it. This is what will allow you to expand your life into new arenas you've only dreamed of!

For more on re-designing your life outside the walls of your practice, check out:



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