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How much free time does a healthcare job leave? How much stress does it bring outside of work?

I want to be able to not be negatively affected by my work. In things like healthcare I think that's something to weigh. I would think you have to learn to separate work and home life.

Thank you comment icon Hi Mariah! What kind of job are you asking about? Ryli Wilson
Thank you comment icon While nursing is a stressful job, you have to learn balance. You will learn how to leave work at work as much as possible. Work life balance is extremely important, and not all employers are going to support this. Having hobbies and taking some time for yourself can be important. Don’t get too burned out. Hailey Hamilton

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Sarah’s Answer

This is a great question and relative topic for healthcare workers. I have worked in the healthcare/clinical research field for over 20years and yes-it is difficult to have work-life balance. Whether you are a direct caregiver or someone behind the scenes such as myself (Project Manager), when you work in healthcare it's because you really like the mission behind what you do. Sometimes this means you are stressed because of a heavy workload, worn out because people with healthcare needs never ends, challenged by crisis or changes in process, etc. But there are also the positives such as having such unique skills to help others and contributing to betterment or extension of lives. Ensuring that you have discipline, a hobby, and a good social network can keep you balanced and happy. Make your co-workers your colleagues and don't be afraid to make those that you work with a team and not a group. Groups can get things done but teams have a collective goal in mind!
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Martin’s Answer

Every job in healthcare necessitates a blend of your personal and professional life. However, this is also true for many non-healthcare roles where additional time or last-minute requests from your boss are common. In the modern world, it's rare to find a well-paying job that allows you to completely disconnect from work once you leave the office. Balancing work and personal life becomes a skill, and some people wouldn't have it any other way. However, if you're seeking a role where the two realms never intersect, healthcare might not be the right choice for you, as this overlap is inherent in the industry.

Working in healthcare can be stressful as it involves dealing with people's health and lives. Most careers in this field will inevitably result in some overlap between your work and home life. As a licensed professional, you'll often find people seeking your advice. However, if you love your job, this integration quickly becomes a natural part of your life, whether you're at work or home.

The healthcare field can often encroach on your personal life. As a professional, you should be prepared for situations where you're asked to report to an office or hospital at the last minute. Licensed professionals also tend to spend a significant amount of time on their computers, often exceeding the standard 40-hour work week or 8-hour work day. This is a part of the job, and anyone who believes it won't affect them should reconsider a career in healthcare.
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Jenifer’s Answer

Hi Mariah,

This is a great question!

My career as a nurse has rarely negatively affected me in my home life; in fact, it has positively affected me outside of work. I also think the answer to this question depends upon how well a person handles stress, takes things personally, and/or tends to “bring work home with them”.
As a professional, when I worked in the oncology (cancer) specialty in the beginning of my career, I remember often thinking about the patients that I cared for when I got home. I would often pray for them and look forward to seeing them again when I returned to work. I also remember keeping a collection of the obituaries of the patients I cared for who had died, because I wanted to remember them, their beauty, and their fight. None of this negatively impacted my home life; it helped me to become a better person, savor the gift of time, and have greater compassion for the world.

This aside, as a coworker, I learned over time to never intermingle coworkers from the workplace into any other setting, including social media. While it is important to have good working relationships with your coworkers, it is also important to set healthy boundaries. Work life and home life are two separate places. If you were to sit down at a table with yourself, you would have different “self’s” sitting in each chair (your family self, work self, student self, etc.). Each “self” is different from one another. This is also true for those you work with; everyone is portraying their “work self” at work and it differs from their other “self’s” at the table. Regardless of the career field, setting and maintaining healthy boundaries with coworkers in the workplace can prevent “bringing work home” in a negative way that was unintended.

I hope this helps!
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David’s Answer

Mariah, this is a really insightful question to ask. Years ago, one of the up and coming attorney's at this law firm I worked with looked at me and said, "I hate what this job does to you". I looked at him with a questioning expression and he elaborated, "this job has made me paranoid, every interaction I have with other people, I automatically start thinking 'how is this guy trying to screw me?' or I see an opportunity to get one over on them. I didn't use to be this way". Another example, I have a few friends that are involved in the Doomsday Prepper community, and to a one they are all working in IT in the data backup/ Disaster Recovery businesses.

We often talk about young people having an affinity for a career because of their personality, but we don't think often enough about how the environment we work in shapes the way we think and look at the world. This is why I love your question.

There are a few things you can plan on doing at any job, first and foremost would be to identify a business that recognizes and respects the boundaries between work life and home life. In my org we have instances where we need some flexibility from the team members with regards to their working hours; we help out when our customers encounter emergencies. Because we expect flexibility from the team, we have to offer flexibility to them as well; no one has to ask permission to go to the doctor, or someone's soccer game, there's no clocking in with timecards, etc. Companies that offer that kind of mentality are definitely the ones you want to commit to.

The other thing I would encourage you to look at is the category of the role you ultimately take. Here's what I'm talking about, think about a lawyer, or maybe an accountant. If either of them goes to work for a grocery store chain, or a company that makes computer chips, they are going to have a totally different experience than one that goes to work for a law firm with a bunch of other lawyers, or an accounting firm that is all about contracting out accounting services.

In the first example, they're working in what is called a Cost Center role. The company is all about having success selling groceries or computer chips. It needs lawyers and accountants to do business, but they only spend money on those services, they don't make money on them. At a pure law firm or at a pure accountancy firm their job would be bringing in money for the firm itself. Those are called Profit Center roles. Every company job falls into one of those buckets.

There is a HUGE difference in the work experience. In my experience, in a cost center role it is hard to get recognized for exceptional work, you tend to only get attention when things go sideways. Case in point, ask 10,000 baseball fans who the best umpire is in MLB and no one will say anything. Ask them who the worst umpire is, and you'll hear the name "Angel Hernandez" and a lot of cursing right after by the majority of them. This makes sense if you think about it. If you own the grocery chain and the accountant does a super job and gets it in early, that's nice, but it's not going to bring more people with money to spend into the stores.

Profit Centers are different. You do a great job in a profit center role, you've almost always made a positive impact to the revenue, and people will sing your praises, and ocassionally do things like give you random bonuses. There's a downside though, there's more pressure to perform and there's a competitive element as well. Personally, I like that. I've been working in a Profit Center role for more than a decade now, and it's crystal clear to me that I'm much, much more effective than I was in the Cost Center gigs I've had, because there's a driver to improve in everything I do and with the people I work with. It can be exhilerating and I love the challenge. But it's not for everyone.

At the end of the day, a lot of what you're concerned about is going to come down to the self-discipline you grow and apply, and to the effectiveness that you have when you perform your job. Efficient people are the ones that wrap things up, and that's the best way I know of to get things OUT of my headspace.

The good news is that as long as you pay attention to what's going on around you, and take into account that you may need to grow, or may need to go somewhere else, you can manage your life in such a way that work stays out of your head after work day is done.

Good luck!
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Mahi’s Answer

Its all about the balance you find. There is time if you make it. Stress will be apart of any job.
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