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Digital Issues

Archive >  January, 2014 XV, No. 1

Is the Stress Getting to You?

The job can consume you if you let it. Don't let it.

Jim Burger, Associate Editor

job stress

If you sometimes wonder whether all the hard work is worth it, you're in good company. Many surgical administrators are working very long hours, aren't at all sure they're adequately paid and in many cases admit they're on the lookout for other employment opportunities.

Asked what factors they'd find most attractive in a new job, the 2nd and 3rd most common responses (behind more money) for both ASC and hospital administrators are less stress (50% and 47.2%, respectively) and more support (34.1% and 37.4%). By contrast, only a handful say they'd welcome more responsibility (10.3% and 11.7%).

The good news is that many facility leaders have found ways to ease the pressure. "It takes a while, but you must learn to lead 2 separate lives," says Diane Elmore, RN, administrator at Metro Surgery Center in Phoenix, Ariz. "Work is work and home is home. Stay at work and complete the task but do not take it home with you."

The importance of maintaining work/life balance is a theme that rang repeatedly through our 2014 salary survey. Simply put, the job will swallow you whole if you let it, say respondents.

"Don't live and breathe the surgery center," says Melinda Cain, RN, BSN, MHA, CNOR, CASC, administrator of the Good Samaritan Surgery Center in Mount Vernon, Ill. "Take time for yourself and family." "Don't let it take over your life," adds Ralania Tignor, BSN, RN, CNOR, surgery center manager at Chickasaw Nation Medical Center in Ada, Okla. "Make sure you still make time for your family." "Focus on your personal life when you're off the clock," echoes Dianne O'Connell, RN, MBA, director of surgical services at Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.H. "Leave your work stress at work."

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