Keeping Stress at Bay: Tips for Keeping Your Cool

Stressed

If you work in a medical office, you undoubtedly understand what it means to be under stress, under the gun, and “in the thick of things” at work.

We’ve titled this post “Keeping Stress at Bay: Tips for Keeping Your Cool” and, if you do work in a medical office, you’re probably rolling your eyes at us right now, saying, “Alleviate stress?! Yeah, right. Look in the dictionary and under ‘stress’ and you’ll see my job!”

StressedStill, bear with us. There are things you can do to keep your cool and your stress level down even in the hectic and pressurized world of a medical office.

1) Take breaks. Yes, we know: Your job is hectic and never-ending. Still, take your breaks. Eat lunch away from your desk. If possible, eat your lunch outside. Leave the office. Take a walk around your building. You’ll be amazed – truly – at how much more energy you’ll have when you get away from work for a bit.

2) Take deep breaths. Sure, it’s a cliché. But it is so for a reason. Taking deep breaths, counting to 10 before responding, just sitting still for a few moments can do a HUGE amount of de-stressing. Just try it once or twice and see the results.

3) In addition to taking your morning, lunch and afternoon breaks, see if you can take a short break every 30 to 45 minutes. Just a quick trip to the bathroom, for example. Or to get a drink of water.  Just get up and move for one or two minutes.

4) Consider placing a radio with calm music (not pop, definitely not rap or rock) playing at or near your work station. Classical music is best; it can be very soothing.

5) Exercise before or after work. If that’s totally impossible, walk for 30 minutes at lunch. Exercise is a proven stress reliever. It will make you better able to withstand stress and will help keep your joints and muscles supple. Simple walking is fine. Jogging is OK. Dance classes, cycling – whatever you enjoy and gets you moving.

6) Stay hydrated. Drink water. Drink some more water. Go easy on the coffee and caffeine-filled sodas.

7) Get a good night’s sleep. Just like exercise, medical science has proven that lack of sleep can cause all manner of ills, not the least of which is the fact that tired people don’t handle stress that well. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

8) Try not to access personal email and texts while at work. Sure, you want to stay in touch with family in case of emergency. But how many real emergencies are there in any given day, week, month or even year. Don’t check your personal email (you have enough email at work), don’t look at or reply to text messages. If someone really needs to get a hold of you, an “old-fashioned” voice call on the phone will work.

9) Dealing with unhappy patients can be the largest stressor in your job. Understand that angry people usually just want someone to hear them. Try to listen to what the patient is saying and then calmly repeat in your own words to show that you understand the patient’s complaint. Apologize sincerely and offer a solution. If the solution isn’t to the patient’s liking, politely ask what solutions he or she may suggest. The main thing is to show the patient that you respect his or her anger/stress and that you will work to find a solution.

What are some of the things you’ve done to help cope with stress when you’ve worked in a medical office as a biller, coder or clerk? What tips would you offer others?

If you’re looking for temporary or full-time work in a medical office in Jackson, give a recruiter at the Professional Staffing Group a call. We look forward to hearing from you!