Why It’s Important for Health Professionals To Take Vacations

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You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone more dedicated to their career than a doctor or nurse. Health professionals give their very best every day and love what they do. Unfortunately, they’re stretched way too thin with long shifts, crazy hours and no one to relieve them. People in the healthcare field are so committed that they’re often reluctant to take vacation time. This is both unfair to them and their patients. Here are several reasons it’s so important for health professionals to take time off.

Reduces Work-Related Stress

Doctors and nurses are some of the most stressed people out there and it’s no surprise. Sure it’s the nature of the job, but health professionals have been charged with taking care of other people’s wellbeing and mistakes aren’t allowed. The expectations placed on medical workers, coupled with the responsibility of those running a practice, eventually takes a toll. A vacation provides much-needed relief. The relaxation experienced during time away often lingers after a person returns to work, benefiting everyone around them. Even if you consider yourself being great at handling a heavy workload and stressful instances at work, the effects of long-term work-related stress can cause fatigue and eventually feeling burned out. You can overcome the exhaustion, reduce and prevent the stress by taking time away, or even practicing self-care as simple as taking yoga classes. Read the top tips from nurses on dealing with burnout here to learn more.

Provides a Lesson in Culture

People in the medical field work with all types of patients from different backgrounds. Taking a trip to an international destination, or even to a different area of the United States, gives them a crash course on culture. Whether they decide on a journey to a foreign land, or a spectacular Hawaii cruise, they’ll find themselves immersed in distinctive cultures. This promotes an understanding of why people do things a certain way and, at the same time, demonstrates how similar humans are.

Promotes Valuable Family Time

Doctors and nurses sacrifice a lot for their careers and that often means less time spent with loved ones. Taking a scheduled vacation is the perfect time to work on those relationships especially if you stay at home. When long schedules take a person away from a spouse or children, every minute spent with them counts. As important as a career is, it should never take priority over family time. A vacation gives a health professional unrestricted quality time to strengthen family bonds and boosts a child’s self-confidence and feelings of being loved.

Increases Heart Health

If there’s one thing that doctors and nurses have a lot of, it’s heart. However, that heart needs to be taken care of. Research says that people that take time off have a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions that can lead to heart disease. These precursors include high blood pressure, body fat around the waist and elevated cholesterol. They appear to be less common in people that vacation at least once per year. Decreased risk of heart disease is a valuable reason to schedule time off!

Improves Work Performance

Taking a vacation helps people feel rested and refreshed, but what does that have to do with a physician’s abilities? People aren’t made to go long periods without respite. When they start feeling exhausted, decision-making abilities become impaired. This is precarious not only for those in direct care positions, but also for doctors that own practices and make business decisions. While you’ll come back from vacation more productive and energized, you might actually come up with some of your best business ideas while away.

Allows For Relaxing Fun

There are times when a vacation is taken for no other reason than to cut loose and have fun, and that’s one of the best reasons of all! People in the medical profession work so hard they often don’t know when to stop, so forcing themselves to have fun provides much-needed release. Fun means different things for different people, so whether that means a cruise, a day at an amusement park or spending a week reading, that time off is well-worth it.

Lets Them Follow Their Own Advice

Time away from the job is important for anyone, but for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals it’s even more critical. Vacations help reduce the stress that’s prevalent in health-related professions, plus time off provides an opportunity to have some real fun while also improving family relationships. When the vacation is finally over, doctors and nurses can continue to serve their patients even better because they followed their own excellent advice on how to relax and enjoy themselves.