By Sarah Clark, RDH, IPDH, CSMC
As a dental hygienist, the fast-paced work environments that we are exposed to often create high stress levels. This can contribute to an undesirable career outlook. Here are four ways to reduce career stress and increase the joy in your career.
1. Learn to detach
2. Practice self-care
It is OK to admit that we don't love our job 100% of the time. While you may not love your job, you can still love your career. It is essential to say no to extra duties when you are already overwhelmed. Take vacations or time off to recharge, and immerse yourself in something you enjoy such as a good book, a weekend spent enjoying nature, or a nice hot bath. We can’t pour from an empty cup, so we must be at our healthiest, both mentally and physically, to achieve joy within our career.
3. Be a helping hand
It is true that you will attract the energies that you emit. Offer a helping hand to coworkers and be genuine. When you come from a place of truly wanting to be helpful, others will take notice and you will receive help in return. Teamwork is an amazing stress reliever, especially when it is not forced.
4. Focus on the good
Working in health care can be extremely trying. Often, we care more about our patients’ health than they do, and it can take a toll on our self-confidence as a clinician. Just remember, every small win is still a win! Did you get a patient to buy a recommended product? Or, maybe they said they finally enjoyed their visit to the dentist? For every 10 disappointing moments we have, it takes one great moment to assure us that what we are doing is making a difference and we are meant for this career!
It may take practice to begin utilizing these techniques effectively. Simply working on them each day you will soon realize the power of stress-management. Remember, we will all have a hard day now and then, but your mindset and choice of reaction are what will lead you to your desired outcome.