Self-Care for Healthcare Professionals

woman doing meditation at park during sunrise

If you work in the healthcare field, you know that some positions, such as nursing, require long hours and stressful working conditions that can leave you drained. You know that you have to take care of yourself to avoid burnout, but the challenge is, how do you find the time? Self-care for healthcare workers isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity — so here are a few tips for a self-care routine that you can fit into your schedule and fit into your budget.

Try Yoga and Meditation

You can enjoy the benefits of practicing yoga without joining an expensive gym or squeezing into a crowded studio class. With free instructional videos readily available online, you can fit a quick yoga or meditation routine into your schedule. Even just 15 minutes before or after your shift can leave you feeling more relaxed, mindful, and focused.

Eat Healthier

Self-care is not just relaxing and taking it easy. It requires self discipline. The good news is that eating healthy won’t add any extra time to your busy schedule. You can make small nutrition changes over time, and you can keep track of what feels good with a food journal. Making healthy changes can leave you with more energy and more mental clarity to tackle the day, especially if your position involves working directly with patients.

Practice Saying “No”

While you can’t say “no” to everything, chances are that you can find a few ways to reduce stress in your life by setting healthy boundaries, especially after a long and stressful day on the job. Maybe you can stop checking your emails before bed. If you check your emails, maybe you can postpone responding to your emails until you get back to work. Maybe you can choose to stay home instead of going to a social event when you really don’t have the energy to socialize and you have an even more stressful week ahead. This doesn’t mean withdrawing from friends or not fulfilling obligations. It just means thinking critically about whether going to a particular event, whether it is for business or with family, is going to drain your energy.

Making time for self-care can help you perform better at work, and feel better, too, even if you are not working in the healthcare field. For more help with navigating your healthcare career, visit the Avidity Medical Design blog.

How to Use Meetup Groups for Social Networking in Healthcare

group of healthcare professionals meeting

If you are in the healthcare industry, or if you are thinking about becoming a healthcare professional, it is important to connect with other colleagues in the healthcare field, for several reasons:

1. You want to stay up to date on current healthcare topics and trends in your area of specialization, especially if your area of specialization involves hands-on patient care, such as nursing, for example.

2. You want to be one of the first to know about new job opportunities that may not yet be advertised in your area of healthcare.

3. You want to establish contacts, long-term friendships, and business relationships with colleagues who are willing to recommend you for future job opportunities. A great way to connect with other healthcare professionals is through Meetup.com.

The Story of Meetup.com

Meetup.com is a social networking platform that allows you to connect with people with similar interests by attending social events that are sponsored by the group that you belong to (as well as an occasional online event). The Meetup groups on Meetup.com have been around since 2002. These groups make it easy to connect with other people with similar interests, for business or just for fun. Social events sponsored by Meetup groups take place in different areas of your city. These events may be business networking events, luncheons, or dinners held at different restaurants around the city, where you exchange business cards and talk about your healthcare experience, or a healthcare career that you are currently pursuing or interested in pursuing. These events can also be fun things to do that give you the opportunity to meet and hang out with other individuals interested in the healthcare field. Your Meetup group may meet once a month, twice a month, or every two or three months, depending on the social events scheduled by the organizer of the group.

Connect With Others in the Healthcare Industry

Although Meetup groups are primarily designed to connect with other people with similar interests, healthcare professionals (and their patients) have much to gain. This is because Meetups involve networking, and networking is about sharing. Healthcare improves and saves lives. With the knowledge that you gain from networking with others in the healthcare field, you can improve the quality of a patient’s life or even save a patient’s life, especially if your work in the healthcare field involves direct patient care. If you want to stay up to date on anything from alternative healthcare treatments to technological advances in healthcare, Meetup groups can help you find the information you need by learning from other professionals in the same field in a relaxed social setting. 

Another reason that Meetups are ideal for healthcare professionals is that the healthcare system has become focused on providing evidence-based care to improve patient outcomes. Not only can other healthcare professionals share valuable anecdotes and usable research, the Meetup platform creates a great place to talk about healthcare in general, even if you don’t work in healthcare or you’re not interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. It’s also nice to talk to like-minded individuals about an area of healthcare that you are interested in learning about. The difference between online networking and attending a social event sponsored by a Meetup group, is that Meetup groups allow you to connect face-to-face with other individuals, instead of connecting only online, where it might be harder and it might take longer to establish a meaningful business relationship or make a personal connection.

Find Out What’s Happening Near You

Another nice thing about Meetup groups is that you can live in practically any city and find a group that you can join. Geography is not an issue. Although social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter make it easy to communicate with someone in a different city or in a different country, the face-to-face social element is missing when you send a text or respond to an email. This is why, if you want to connect with other healthcare professionals in a social setting, you might want to consider joining a Meetup group, especially if you just moved to a new city, and you don’t know many people, and you want to establish business and social connections in your new city.

woman doing meditation at park during sunrise

Stay Physically Fit and Become Accountable for Your Own Health

Even if you are not in the healthcare field, Meetup groups can help you take charge of your own health. The thing that is missing from many internet-enabled communications is accountability when it comes to joining a social media group. Social media groups are casual, and many people join without any true dedication. Want to lose weight? Join a low-carb group. Want to get healthier? Join an exercise group. These are motivational tools, but there is no accountability, and you can still sit on your couch and eat tacos all you want. Email and texting also doesn’t work because is it lacks the group connection. Meetup groups allow everyone to “meet up,” and even if it’s not face-to-face, it will still be coordinated and accessible. This helps everyone stay on track in terms of achieving their personal physical fitness goals. 

How to Get Started with Meetups

Start by visiting the Meetup.com website, and search for healthcare groups you might be interested in joining. Searching on the keywords, “Health,” “Healthcare,” or “Medicine” yields results for a variety of different Meetup groups, such as groups for healthcare networking, healthy living, health technology, health and wellness, physical fitness, and alternative medicine. You can click on the thumbnails for each group to learn what the group is about, the number of members in the group, the organizers of the group, past events, upcoming events, and whether the group is public or private. If the group is public, anyone can join. If the group is private, you may need to request permission to join by completing a brief online questionnaire posted by the group organizer, and then getting approval to join the group from the group organizer after the answers to your questionnaire are reviewed. You can also read the profiles of current members, to get a better understanding of the types of members who already belong to the same group.

The Benefits of YouTube in Healthcare eLearning

Create Your Meetup Profile

Once you find a healthcare group (or several healthcare groups) that you are interested in joining, it’s time to create your Meetup profile. Once you join the group, you can choose the events you would like to attend. You may choose to attend a few events or all of the events, depending on your schedule and level of interest. Keep in mind, however, that Meetup groups thrive on active participation from their members. Some groups may become inactive due to lack of participation, so it’s important to try to attend as many events as possible for the group(s) you decide to join, if your schedule permits. Since the majority of the Meetup events are face to face, this gives you a chance to establish connections with other members, especially longtime members, of each group, who can tell you more about their own experience with the group, and give you their own opinions of the group based on having joined several years prior to your decision to join the same group.

Form Your Own Healthcare Meetup Group

If you can’t find a healthcare Meetup group that you are interested in, consider creating your own. Write a description of what you’re hoping to accomplish within your new Meetup group, such as meeting those who already have healthcare careers, those who are completing a degree in healthcare, or those who are interested in alternative medicine or health and wellness issues, for example.

Decide where you want to meet, such as local parks, breweries, or restaurants. Create a schedule for your Meetups, so people will know when you’re going to host social events each month, where each event will be held, or if the location is still to be determined. You can even charge a certain amount per event to offset the cost of Meetup.com for hosts.

Want more information about healthcare networking and other subjects related to healthcare? Visit the Avidity Medical Design blog.

Interested in learning more about social media networking in healthcare? Visit Avidity Medical Design Academy.

Ebola 101: What Challenges Do Physicians Face Treating This Disease?

Ebola has been a biological bogeyman for decades, but it’s only recently that the disease has made its way into the United States. With fewer than 10 cases and only a single fatality it could be argued that the response to the disease was proper. However, could that fatality have been avoided? And what problems are physicians facing trying to treat this disease in what is supposedly one of the best health care systems in the world?

Ebola 101: What Challenges Do Physicians Face?

Ebola is a deadly condition whose symptoms bear a resemblance to influenza (fever, coughing, weakness, vomiting, etc.) until bruising and bleeding starts. Fortunately Ebola is transmitted by close, personal contact (including contact with a patient’s bodily fluids) which means that it’s much more difficult to spread than an airborne virus. When examined from the outside Ebola should be a fairly simple disease to contain and control, and once it’s contained the treatment should be routine.

Should be is the key phrase here.

Ebola 101: What Challenges Do Physicians Face?The primary challenge that physicians face treating Ebola is actually containing it. The disease first has to be identified, and patient placed in isolation, and then physicians need to ascertain that no one else caught the disease from the patient. Given the fear associated with Ebola people may be unlikely to come forward if they were exposed, and this can lead to problems with the disease’s spread.

Another issue that physicians often face is the lack of training and proper protocol regarding Ebola. Whether it’s due to a lack of proper equipment (full body suits that will protect the doctor from a patient’s fluids are a primary concern, and they’re also something of a rarity), or simply not having a plan that’s been communicated to everyone on staff there are often breaches that result in the disease spreading to others when it shouldn’t. Part of the issue is funding, and part of it is experience since those who aren’t familiar with the CDC’s protocols for personal protection may find they make mistakes when they try to follow the guidelines.

Overcoming These Challenges

These challenges are not going to vanish overnight, which is why physicians must take necessary steps to overcome them. Making sure proper equipment is in place is a necessity, and making sure that staff can use that equipment through classes and drilling is also a necessity.

Another necessity is making sure that the protocols put in place are easy to follow, and that they work. That’s where Avidity Medical Design comes into the picture. With years of experience in the healthcare industry, and a thorough knowledge of anatomy and physiology, Avidity Medical Design can develop curriculum to train your staff on guidelines and strategies for treating patients with the Ebola virus. This comprehensive training is ideal for physicians, as well as nurses and other healthcare practitioners, who must address the demands of treating patients with the Ebola virus.

For more information on how Avidity Medical Design can help you simply contact us today!