After the long Memorial Day weekend, physicians, nurses, lab techs and other healthcare professionals are looking forward to their summer vacations. That might be a weekend at the beach, a week in the mountains or a longer trip to Europe, the Caribbean or an unusual foreign destination.
In any case, it’s important for healthcare professionals to take a break from the stresses of their demanding jobs. That includes taking a break from emails, texts and voice messages (as much as possible). It means spending time with friends and loved ones, enjoying your hobbies and giving yourself some quality time for a change.
Many people don’t realize that Americans are among the hardest working people on the planet. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), Americans spend 137 more hours per year on the job than Japanese workers, 260 more hours than British workers, and 499 more hours than French workers. Overall, U.S., workers average 13 days off per year, while in workers in France and Finland receive 30 paid days of vacation every year. That hard-working spirit is a good thing for the U.S., as our level of productivity generally surpasses production in European countries.
But Americans pay the price on an individual level. After all, stress is a leading cause of health problems, contributing to a host of physical and emotional problems. Constant worrying can hinder the body’s ability to fight off disease, lead to insomnia and sap the energy and enthusiasm needed to provide exceptional patient care. While there are plenty of remedies to reduce stress on a daily basis - including exercise, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises - there’s no substitute for taking time off the job. So, recharge your batteries this summer and enjoy your time off whenever you take a vacation.