About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Doctors in Public Hospitals Not Burnt Out

by Gopalan on August 16, 2009 at 4:49 PM
Font : A-A+

 Doctors in Public Hospitals Not Burnt Out

Doctors and other personnel working in New Zealand's public hospitals are not burnt out. On the contrary, they reported robust emotional well-being and healthy work engagement.

The study by the University of Otago, Christchurch, investigated 267 consultants working in Christchurch and has been published in the New Zealand Medical Journal.

Advertisement

Lead researcher Dr Lois Surgenor from the Department of Psychological Medicine says the positive results were a bit of a surprise as the perception has often been that high levels of burnout is the professional norm amongst hospital consultants.

"It would seem there's still considerable job satisfaction amongst this group of clinicians, at least in Christchurch," she says. "It may have something to do with a particularly supportive work environment, or the benefits of a relatively stable workforce compared with other parts of New Zealand."
Advertisement

Despite the majority of consultants not experiencing work-related burnout the researchers say that a significant minority, between a quarter and a third of respondents are, and this takes the form of high levels of emotional exhaustion and high levels of psychological detachment in relation to their job.

Overall, one in five, or 20 per cent reported high burnout in their job as a hospital specialist.

Of note, burnout risk was significantly associated with long hours of work and the researchers suggest that controlling hours worked may be an important way of reducing this risk, although this needs to be proven in a New Zealand setting.

"Long work hours in combination with low job satisfaction significantly increase the risk of professional burnout," says Dr Surgenor, "and this suggests the need to consider the protective roles of having good working relationships with managers and colleagues, along with professional autonomy."

One of the more interesting findings of this study is that length of time in the job as a consultant appears to be protective of emotional exhaustion. But this appears to work in the opposite direction with regard to evaluation of one's own professional accomplishments, which appears to erode with length of time in the same job.

"Loss and turnover of doctors is a serious problem in New Zealand, but doctors may not be leaving simply because of financial incentives overseas, but because they feel professionally and personally ineffective in their current job."

"It needs to be emphasised however, that most are highly satisfied and not reporting burnout problems. The greater overall protection from burnout that comes with longer experience may arise from developing greater tolerance for clinical stress, or diversifying into leadership and teaching roles."

The study suggests there should be more focus on the 20 per cent of consultants who are reporting significant problems because of possible impacts on patient care and staff turnover.

Solutions to burnout both in New Zealand and overseas have included a range of individual and organisational-level interventions. These include for example, regular peer support, stress management courses, and explicit formal agreements to improve relationships between employer and employees.

The 'Time for Quality' agreement between DHBs and the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists in 2008 is one such approach. While these appear sensible solutions on the face of it, they need to be tested through further research.



Source: Medindia
GPL
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Test Your Knowledge on Liver Transplantation
Organ Donation Week 2022 - 'Take the Pledge to Save Lives'
Test your Knowledge on Heart Transplantation
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Eradicate Quackery, Save Lives Different Medical Specialists and their Area of Medical Expertise 

Most Popular on Medindia

Accident and Trauma Care Drug Side Effects Calculator Blood - Sugar Chart Sanatogen Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Hearing Loss Calculator Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam) Iron Intake Calculator Drug Interaction Checker
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use