3 Ways a New Work Environment Can Impact Your Health (and What You Can Do About it)

You may be wondering how your new career in the healthcare field will affect your life. But have you thought about how your new work environment can impact your health? CNN reported in the article, “A bad work environment can be bad for your health”, that there was a direct impact on stress level and risk of cardiac disease based on an employee’s work environment. Therefore, what are some health hazards and ways that you can maintain your health while transitioning to your new job?

Not Enough Hours in the Day

It’s all too common to be understaffed and overworked, especially in the healthcare environment. You may feel that you need to forego taking a break, avoid eating lunch, or eat lunch on the run, in order to get everything done. While scarfing down your lunch on the run may seem like a better option than skipping lunch altogether, you may have some health concerns that come from eating on the go. Indigestion, nausea and bloating may have you reaching for a Tums or some Pepto-Bismol, for example. A better option would be to force yourself to sit down and take 30 minutes to an hour to eat lunch. If you finish early, enjoy those few moments of peace, resisting the urge to get more work done during this time.

No Personal Space

Sometimes, the lines can become blurred when it comes to separating your work life from your home life. If you work from home, it can be hard to balance the two while keeping them separate from one another. The mental toll that this takes can leave you drained emotionally as you obsess about work duties while neglecting interests and hobbies that you once enjoyed. Take back your personal life. If you have a home office, keep work in the office space and during office hours only. Make it a priority to spend time doing the things you enjoy or spending time with family and friends. 

man coding on desktop computer
Cropped image of It specialist working on code

Intense and/or Repetitive Physical Exertion

Are your daily work tasks leaving you achy and physically exhausted at the end of the day? Back and neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome and migraine headaches are some potential side effects, especially when you are at your desk most of the day, or your job is especially stressful. Learn about ergonomics and body mechanics and incorporate both of these into your daily routine at work. Get out of your chair and stretch at least once every hour that you are at work. If your job has you on your feet all day, sit down, stretch your legs, rotate your feet and ankles, and elevate your feet in the breakroom to improve circulation. 

As you consider a new career in the medical field, check out these courses that Avidity Medical Design Academy offers to help you succeed on the job and in your personal life. 

new healthcare job with doctors speaking in hallway

5 Ways to Be Successful on Your First Day on the Job as a Healthcare Professional

new healthcare job with doctors speaking in hallway

The first day on a job is stressful. You want to present yourself as responsible and enthusiastic. Here are five tips so you can make the best impression possible in your new healthcare position. 

Be On Time

Arriving late on your first day gives the wrong first impression. You want to start out on the right foot, and you want your immediate supervisor, as well as her manager, to know they made the right decision by hiring you, rather than another candidate with similar qualifications. So, give yourself some extra time when you start your commute. It is better to arrive too early than too late; if you arrive too early, you can always stop and grab a cup of coffee or pick up a breakfast sandwich if you need to kill some extra time. You will feel a lot calmer if you can start your day without feeling rushed. It is also a good idea to stay a little bit later if it looks like you are needed. There will be a lot to absorb and staying late shows you are a team player. 

Be Professional

People expect professional dress in the healthcare environment, especially if you work in management. So dress professionally. Also, it is important to interact with people in a professional manner. You want to look people in the eye, smile, give a firm handshake, and employ active listening. Refrain from joking around until you know people better. For more thorough recommendations, enroll in our course entitled, “How to Learn Professionalism in Healthcare (with REAL-WORLD Examples).”

Ask Questions

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You won’t learn everything the first day. There’s a lot to learn, in terms of the processes and procedures that you need to follow to do the job effectively, so go easy on yourself. Ask as many questions as you can think of, and keep a notepad nearby to write down the answers, so you don’t have to ask the same question twice after you receive the answer to your question the first time. You don’t want to pester your supervisor with questions but you do need to know what you are supposed to do. In addition, asking questions shows you are interested in learning the job. If you don’t have a notepad nearby, open your phone and add a note as a memo to yourself. When you compile a list of the questions that you asked, and the answers you received (and the person that gave you the answer in case there are any contradictions in the answers you receive), make a copy of your questions and answers and keep them all in a safe place.

Take A Break 

You will have an opportunity for a break at some point in the day. Although it may be tempting to skip the break (or skip lunch) in order to make yourself look committed, take the break and take lunch. Your first day on the job can be stressful and overwhelming, especially when you are working in the healthcare environment, and especially if your new job involves dealing directly with patients, nurses, physicians, and upper-level management. Use your break to regroup and relieve some stress during on your first day. Taking a short walk and some deep breaths are always a good idea. If co-workers ask you to go to lunch take advantage of the invitation. It is an opportunity to get to know people better and gain more information about the job you’ll be doing, other people that you will be working with, either directly or indirectly, the environment that you’ll be working in, and some things you can do get up to speed quickly with the job you’ll be doing.

Expect The Unexpected

You never know what your first workday might be like. Hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices are often busy environments where everything does not go as planned. So reach out to your supervisor if you need help, and be prepared to “go with the flow” when learning your new job, especially since your job might be slightly different than the job description posted online or in a newspaper ad.

The first day in a healthcare setting sets the stage for your work experience. Your attitude and preparedness go a long way toward achieving a favorable outcome. If you want to thrive in the world of healthcare, visit the Avidity Medical Design Blog to read more articles to help you succeed the first day on your new job in healthcare.