Optometry is a promising field, but like all other professions, it comes with its own challenges and difficulties.
Holding down a job in optometry is not an easy task. You have to meet many requirements, fulfill a certain criteria, serve a large number of patients, work continuously for long hours as well as work alongside people you may not necessarily like. Also, when it comes to optometry,
many people are doing jobs that they perhaps didn’t even want to do in the first place but are doing so because of a lack of options or other similar reason. Thus, burnout in optometry is not a new phenomenon, but despite being so common, many optometrists are unable to identify whether they are experiencing burnout or just temporary tiredness.
Doing something that you are not satisfied with for a long period of time is not only emotionally exhausting, but it can also affect you mentally as well as physically. Take a look at the following signs of optometrist burnout so that you can take the required action before it becomes too late.
You Feel Extremely Exhausted
Continuing to work at a job that stresses you out will lead to chronic fatigue. This means that whether you get 8 hours of sleep or not, your exhaustion won’t go away. You might think that the upcoming weekend or a short break from work will refresh and re-energize you but that ‘next’ break just doesn’t arrive. Weariness becomes your ally and you are likely to fell drained out and lethargic most of the time.
Headaches Become Frequent
Do you think it’s that late night Sunday party that’s causing you that headache? Or that the back pain you are feeling is because you have to sit at a desk from 9 to 5?
If you experience headaches, shoulder pain, back pain or any other pain frequently without doing any rigorous exercises or other physically exhaustive tasks, then it’s your body’s way of saying that you are experiencing burnout in optometry. This is because extreme stress decreases the production of dopamine and keeps your muscles tightened which ultimately leads to physical pain.
You Turn Insomniac
Sleepless nights or having trouble falling asleep even when you feel very tired is one of the most prominent signs of burnout. This can happen due to various reasons. For instance, if your job is too demanding, then you might be fearful of falling short and not being able to complete the required tasks on time. Or if you wanted to be a full-time OD but are instead stuck in a minor role in corporate optometry then, needless to say, feeling a lack of accomplishment will keep you up at night.
Apart from these, common signs of burnout include stomach aches as well as nausea, vomiting or even diarrhea in extreme cases. Moreover, excessive stress can lower your immunity, making you more susceptible to common cold, flu, and other common viruses.
Burnout in healthcare workers is a serious issue. So, if you are experiencing burnout in optometry, make sure to take a step back, evaluate, prioritize or re-prioritize things and take action if it’s time to consider a new job.