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Telemedicine: A Cure for Optometrist Burnout?
Published April 9th, 2019

Telemedicine: A Cure for Optometrist Burnout?

It may sound disturbing, but it is reported that 42% of medical professionals experience burnout at one time or another. Burnout can manifest through low self-esteem and loss of interest in work which results in poor performance. It can cause harm in your work relationships and may cause irrevocable damage on various medical diagnoses. Extreme cases can potentially lead to depression and at times reach the point where you quit your job.

Burnout happens when overwhelming situations begin to get out of hand, and the person does not know how to handle it anymore. Maybe there’s too much work and too little time, there is no balance between career and family, the job does not pay well, or simply because they are not happy with what they do anymore.

Possible Causes of Burnout for Medical Professionals

  • Time is an important element, especially in healthcare cases. Medical practitioners have to work through overbooking and long hours to provide services to patients who need immediate attention
  • In hospitals, doctors also jump from one patient to another managing critical minutes and carrying a heavy burden to provide the best service possible in limited time
  • Packed schedules lead to rushing and can sometimes cause stress to the medical professional, replaying the visit and casting doubt as to whether proper medications or treatments were administered, or if the patients were diagnosed completely

Burnout is losing all energy and in extreme cases, sanity of one’s mind. This impacts medical staff of all specialties and Optometrists are of no exception. Sometimes work can be overwhelming, and before you know it, your drive and focus have lessened, and you start to wonder if it’s all worth it. That is stress in its highest possible form and may be the result of burnout.

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine is using technology to diagnose and treat illness or medical concerns remotely.

Taking Action – Using Telemedicine to Avoid Burnout

A solution is available to avoid burnout for medical professionals! Research shows that stress and burnout, especially in the healthcare environment can be avoided thanks to new technologies. These technologies, in the form of Telehealth and Telemedicine are quickly granting medical professionals flexibility and increased control over scheduling through time saving measures. It is improving the doctor-patient work relationship through flexibility, making it easier to communicate in real time and remotely. Doctors can review cases without physically being in the office and stay up to date on patient’s progress in real-time eliminating the need to be input and digest updates of patient status in one sitting. Telehealth is also contributing to minimizing the request from patients for in person visits, both for hospital and general office visits. Patients can get quick answers to pressing symptoms allowing them to truly evaluate the need for that in person visit.

The onset of telemedicine is aiding doctors in minimizing their burdens and resulting burnout. It diminishes travel time, is decreasing costs, decreasing emergency appointments that would generally require extra hours and all in all providing more opportunities for balance. Accompanying software is even making billing and admin processes easier and more affordable to the practice owner.

Imagine, as a medical professional, dealing with less traffic, traveling and delays and being able to work from anywhere, anytime – being in control of your schedule. Telemedicine is the cure for burnout.

Sorenson, G. (2018, July).
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