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Medical Services Professionals - Are Your Jobs Making You Sick?

I don’t know about other professions, but in the medical services profession, we are always under some form of stress, especially during certain times of the year. For instance, the volume of files kicks upward just in time for July 1 hires. All the new candidates are recently graduating residency programs, and it’s up to the MSP staff to figure how not only to credential them before their start date but to make sure their training is verified before they graduate and before they start. Then, that next step in enrolling them with the right insurers so your organization can begin billing for them as soon as possible. The heat is on, and so is the race. Somehow, you get it done, and you can finally breathe.

But, what about that ongoing stress of supporting multiple committees, which usually happens in smaller hospitals. You find yourself preparing for another committee before you complete the minutes on the last, and the cycle continues. On the managed care side, the volumes may rise and fall any time of the year, and in the staffing world, it’s chaotic during regular vacation seasons. Those are the typical stressors. Most MSP’s are used to it, expect it, and center their brains to accept what’s coming and manage it as best they can.

But what about the other stressors in the profession, the ones that have nothing to do with the job descriptions. You know the ones, the manager whose title should be the “great interrupter.” The one who is continually changing the urgency of your tasks and then getting perturbed because you didn’t meet the deadline for the job you had to put aside. All expected with no approved overtime. But, you are already working excessive standard hours. How does this make you feel? Stressed.

I know. I have been there. I left one job because I ended up in the emergency room twice with heart palpitations and high blood pressure spikes, once I was kept overnight for observation. After I left that job, I never experienced those symptoms again. Sadly, that organization didn’t have the resources or the staff to support its needs. Unfortunately, the staff had to endure or leave as I did. But, what if you can’t leave? How do you handle that stress? How do you keep your job from making you sick?

Here are my recommendations for managing your health while dealing with the stressful job:

1. This advice may sound cliché, but exercise. If you can, before entering the stressful workplace, spend time exercising your body, whether it’s walking, aerobics, or yoga. Move your body.

2. Move while at work, whenever possible. Don’t sit in front of your computer stewing and working. Get up at least 5 minutes every hour and take a flight of stairs, stretch your body, walk. Or, breathe. Look out a window or at your favorite picture and quiet your mind. I repeat, quiet your mind.

3. Communicate with your manager and your team. Speak up when you are overwhelmed. Ask for help. Maybe your organization can hire a temp or an intern to take some of the minor tasks off your plate. Or, perhaps some of the functions can be outsourced. Have them consider the costs of utilizing a CVO or investing a better software package to help you get your job done on time.

4. Never stop learning. Learn as much as you can to put you in a position to move upward and onward. Take your experiences with you to help others.

If you are waking up in the morning after a sufficient amount of sleep feeling overly tired and already stressing about going to work, it may be time for a change. Consider your options, but also keep in mind, you may face the same conditions in another job so look at what you can change about you before you change the job. Good luck!

Dilsa S. Bailey, CPMSM is the owner and principal consultant for The Right Credentials Network. If your credentialing and provider enrollment programs need assistance, contact The Right Credentials Network. We can help you apply for and maintain accreditation as well as repair your existing program. And, if you or your staff needs additional training, join us for our webinars, training modules, and various events.

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