• Question: does your job ever demand too much of you?

    Asked by George to Adrian, Ali, Charnelle, Deborah, Kit, Phil, Rob on 7 Nov 2017. This question was also asked by Tania R.
    • Photo: Philip Williams

      Philip Williams answered on 7 Nov 2017:


      I think as a GP, my job will always ask more and more of me. If I gave it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, I could still find more work to do. That’s why it’s really important to set boundaries and focus on what will make an actual difference. It’s also important to have a range of different interests, to keep yourself balanced and healthy. So I try to get to the gym, spend time with my family, go to church, meet up with friends. A life made of work & rest and nothing else quickly becomes unhealthy. Everyone needs hobbies.

    • Photo: Deborah Draycott

      Deborah Draycott answered on 7 Nov 2017:


      Yes, some times things just do get a bit too much. It’s not a physically demanding job, but can be stressful emotionally. It’s really important to have a way to unwind and feel supported away from work. I am really fortunate that my husband works in healthcare so we both have an understanding of each others roles and difficulties. I also find exercise and yoga help me to switch off after a busy week.

    • Photo: Robert Cullum

      Robert Cullum answered on 8 Nov 2017:


      In my current role I am fortunate enough that I have plenty of time to fit in my clinical work, teaching and other responsibilities. However when I was working fulltime in the clinical environment there were often days where I felt like I needed to have a broom attached to my rear end as well because I was being expected to do so much with a limited amount of time and resource. As Phil said, there will always be more work to do and this can be really challenging to deal with and to switch off from. Some advice that was given to me which I think is really useful when thinking about this is that when you’re on a plane they always tell you to put your own oxygen mask on before attending to others in the event of an emergency. As healthcare professionals we are often bad at tending to our own health and wellbeing because we get so wrapped up helping others, so now, I always try and bear this in mind so that I don’t become burned out. If that happened I wouldn’t be able to help anyone!

    • Photo: Adrian Taylor

      Adrian Taylor answered on 8 Nov 2017:


      This one doesn’t, see my profile as to the past and how I changed my outlook.

    • Photo: Ali Blatcher

      Ali Blatcher answered on 8 Nov 2017:


      Long days and night shifts are very demanding in this job, and means you have to lose out on some things in your social life.

      Also dealing with very sick patients in the hospital demands a lot of time and energy as well, which can be draining.

      I have had many times in medicine where I have been rushed off my feet, or have felt under a tremendous amount of pressure, even times where I have cried.

      Its not a walk in the park, just bear that in mind.

    • Photo: Kit Tigwell

      Kit Tigwell answered on 9 Nov 2017:


      Yes. As others have said, long shifts, antisocial working hours and stressful scenarios are draining. It can be physically tough doing that, as well as mentally exhausting sometimes taking on responsibility. It’s often also emotionally difficult dealing with patients, particularly those you can’t help. There are days it gets too much, which is why its important to have a life outside of work – a good support network of friends, family, hobbies to help you stay resilient and positive.

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