Burnt Out? Maybe It’s Time You Made The Switch To Out Of Hours?

Are you feeling burnt out? GP burn out is a common feeling for doctors, especially trainee doctors. The long hours, irregular hours and stressful conditions of busy GP surgeries can all take their toll. Many trainee doctors have claimed to feel ‘exhausted’ before starting a shift, mainly due to the heavy workload. Could out of hours provide a change of pace and help you get back on track?

A quarter of doctors feel ‘burnt out’

The General Medical Council’s annual training survey has revealed that 25% of trainee doctors feel burnt out because of work, while a third say they feel exhausted before starting their next shift. There are many reasons to blame for this, from working past rostered hours to heavy workloads applying the pressure.

Is the pressure on the wards to blame?

It’s no secret that our healthcare services are busy. As the NHS turned 70 last month, thousands celebrated the work of our medical staff, while there were also calls for people to support NHS services by pledging to use them more wisely, and to take better care of themselves. Currently, areas like A&E can be overstretched during evening and weekends, while GP surgeries are dealing with missed appointments and even unnecessary appointments for patients who could have treated themselves at home.

Working in these high-pressured environments means that many trainee doctors are struggling to find the time to study, which could lead to significant problems for both junior doctors and patient care. Being able to find the right work/life balance is also important, helping to prevent exhaustion amongst trainees.

Out of hours – the solution to GP burn out?

If you’re feeling the pressure, then working out of hours could be the solution to GP burn out. Outside of regular GP hours, out of hours provides a different pace of working – providing a working pattern that suits many doctors’ lifestyles, and can also help them to progress in their fields.

When you work out of hours, you work more flexible working patterns that include evenings, weekends and even bank holidays. This can provide a preferable routine for some – particularly those looking to fit in childcare around their schedules or even spend more time studying to get ahead.

New patterns, new skills

Unlike regular GPs, out of hours doctors deal with more ad-hoc, random cases – dealing with what they’re presented with at the time rather than providing continuing treatment to the same patients. This can help make the job less stressful, while also adding more interest to the role thanks to the unpredictability of cases that can happen out of hours.

Out of hours GPs also find themselves using a different skill-set to that used in other areas of the profession. As an out of hours doctor, you will deal with a lot more referrals and will provide advice over the phone to patients. It makes a big change from the busy day-to-day of a GP surgery. Often seen as a solution for reducing the GP workload, switching to out of hours can be a great move for your career, or even help you slow down as you approach retirement.

The benefits of working out of hours are worth investigating to see if it could be the right move for you. If you’re feeling burnt out and need to take a step back, then applying for an out of hours position could be just what you need. Find out more about current positions in the East Berkshire area by searching our jobs page.