Burnout occurs in all careers. Burnout tends to occur the most in medical careers; working long hours and weekends and having a stressful job. Athletic trainers have to be flexible with their schedule, having practices at different time, different days, and games taking longer than expected. Burnout is defined as a syndrome of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion due to their job or career.
Studies have been done that say the lack of physical activity and perceived wellness can cause burnout more than if someone is physical active and does have a good perception of wellness. 32% of athletic trainers in the collegiate setting experience burnout on some level; 50% of those athletic trainers work at a Division 1 school. Younger athletic trainers tend to experience burnout more than older athletic trainers because of the pressure put on them.
People who feel that they are developing burnout distance themselves from their work or the people around them. This is called depersonalization, as an athletic trainer that means the athletes are getting less attention and they feel they cannot come up to you and trust you. Some other signs are emotional exhaustion, not being able to do everything needed throughout the day. Another sign is decreased personal accomplishment, you are not satisfied with what you are doing with your work and this is when people tend to quit their job because they are not happy.
The most common stressor in people’s life is their home life. If they have a stressful job, like athletic training, then having a stressful home and work makes for a very stressful life. Being able to prioritize home and work life will help cut out any unwanted things and help you concentrated on the most important things.
The most important thing is to realize when you are starting to feel like you are getting burnt out. When you see the symptoms you can change how you cope with them and hopefully feel better about yourself quicker. Everyone copes differently with different stressors. You may try one coping strategy that does not work for you, but may work for someone else. Here are a few tips to try to prevent burnout from happening in the future:
· Having balanced life (time management: work, social life, & family)
· Prioritize daily activities
· Have a positive attitude
· Talk to a friend
· Set goals you would like to accomplish (REALISTIC short and long term goals)
· Learn to say “No”
· Ask for help/delegate when needed (at home and at work)
· Schedule “me time” (could be stress reliever)
· Be healthy (eat well, exercise, etc)
· Get enough sleep
· Exercise brain (trying new things, doing same things but differently everyday; i.e. different driving route to work)
· Try to not do same things every day- change it up!
Certified athletic trainers are not the only athletic trainers susceptible to burnout, undergraduate students can as well. Being physically active and balancing your life can really improve how you feel and become a better athletic trainer.