Focusing on The Brighter Side of Your Job
The other day, another health care provider and I were talking about the challenges of our work. She was going through a hard time in her career. In this changing world, working as a doctor, nurse practitioner, physical therapist or a counselor can be difficult. We have high expectations of ourselves, and so do our patients. Sometimes it can be hard to live up to our own expectations. We can be pretty hard on ourselves.
Our conversation made me think about what I really appreciate about being a health care provider. I know it is very popular for workers to complain about their work. There is so much that is outside of our control. And, in these rough economic times, those of us that are fortunate enough to have a job have more stress and pressure than in the past. But it is also important to think about what we enjoy about our work too. This helps keep us in balance (an important point that I keep coming back to).
So here is my list of positives!
Every day, I get to help other people improve their health and wellbeing. In order to become a psychologist, I had to have a lot of support from many people—my parents, my teachers, and my family. I was fortunate that I grew up in a middle class family who valued education. They also valued me! They helped me have confidence and faith in myself. All of their nurture contributed to my becoming a psychologist. For this I am very grateful.
But even more importantly, I feel grateful to have the opportunity and the privilege to contribute to my patient’s happiness and wellbeing. Every day, I do have to earn their respect. But when I do, I know that it is a privilege to get to do my job.
I think about this when I have a tough day or when it is dark and rainy and I wish I could sleep in! It helps get me out of bed on those days and propels me through the challenging moments of my day.
I get to work with great co-workers. This is very worthwhile. What I really love about my co-workers is their commitment to their patients, to excellence, and to each other. Whenever I have a tough situation, there is always someone who is willing to help me. And just the other day, one of my patients told me how lucky I was to have such great office staff! And he was right. I count myself as fortunate to have such great colleagues and co-workers.
I work for a great company. I suppose not everyone feels that way about their company. But I do. For several years, The Everett Clinic’s own employees have voted the clinic so highly in so many different dimensions that it has placed among the top 100 corporations to work at in the United States! That is pretty amazing. As a testimony, it is not uncommon for several generations of family members to work at The Everett Clinic. The sons and daughters of physicians, providers, nurses, and office staff come to work at the clinic. That is pretty cool! And, it contributes to a “family” feeling at work too. I am hoping that my youngest daughter, when she completes her training as a nurse practitioner, will come to work at The Everett Clinic too. Wouldn’t that be something?
I have grown up with many of my patients. As a family psychologist, I work with children, teenagers, adults, and older adults. I may see them from time to time throughout their lives as they struggle with life changes and life crises. Over the last 19 years, I have worked with teenagers who have become adults and then had an opportunity to help them with their own kids!
I have celebrated their marriages, birth of their children, completion of their schooling, and the start of their careers. I have had the opportunity to help some of them through loss and grief, health problems, and divorce.
When I first started, I worked with many parents whose children were toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary school age (like my own children). And now their children are adults with families of their own. They still come in periodically when challenges arise.
So we have grown up together, learned from each other, and I have had the wonderful privilege to share in their joys and challenges over the years. And since many of my co-workers have been at the clinic for a long time too, I have had the opportunity to share in their lives as well. I value these relationships and the fellowship that we have developed over the years.
I would love to hear from readers about what you like about your job!