Being a health provider is a tough and stressful job. In any hospital, work goes on during day and night. Rather many times nights are more heavy and challenging. The systems at odd hours are run by doctors and nurses. Continuous requirement to do odd time shifts, hard training and work demands tend to affect the overall work-life balance of doctors and nurses.
For women, it is particularly more stressful. As at some stage of life, both professional and personal roles become too demanding. Expectation at both fronts is guided by the idea of perfection. Perception of deviation from the ideal or little imperfection can lead to sense of aversion, linked to average performance for them. If they try to match the ambitions, want more in career, from the partner, children, or themselves, face the real risk of burn out. The cognizance that perfection cannot be matched or arduous to achieve, in their circumstances, is hard to be realized at both places. The quest and passion of the women doctors or nurses, to seek perfection at both places, makes them more prone for burnout. This is a consequence to a grave exhaustion, in their bid to balance everything. Woman doctors and nurses, are specially more susceptible to stress of a kind, as most of them face the same ordeal.
Perception of role identity at home is little different on being a woman doctor/nurse. Male doctors are in a better position to prioritize their work duties over their family duties in order to provide financial support for their families. For female doctors , there is a natural tendency to prioritize their family life.
Inflexibility or shift working a routine:
The issues will always remain, like spending long hours at work due to inflexibility, or requirement to do shift duties , need to stay more with patient and training requirements. For females it is very common and frequently lead to an imbalance between work and family duties. More time spent at work has an direct impact on family requirements. Sometimes there are financial requirements of the family, for which they are forced to negate the effect on family duties. In such situations they are unable to successfully complete these family duties.
High career ambitions:
Higher education leads to ambitions for higher social recognition and better career orientation. These goals are another reason for taking this dual stress. In order to correct this imbalance, many women doctors expose themselves to unsolicited job stress. This reflect in lives as chronic lack of time and leads to pressure and stress. The mentioned stresses and strains could lead in the long term to irreversible, physical signs of wear and tear, as well as to negative effects on the human cardiovascular and immune systems.
Prolonged and odd working hours:
In medical profession, simply working hard is not enough anymore. To get ahead, a rigorous training, prolonged working hours are new standards. There is very little time left to be divided among relationships, kids, and sleep.
Conflict by Perception:
The conflict of work and family is further exacerbated by perceived deviation from being a good worker at work place and ideal mother at home. At work place, they are looked as less dedicated and similarly at home as well. Lack of organizational support for doctors/nurses is main reason for these kind of imbalance. They are squeezed in between pressures at work and demands at home.
These day, pressures are so high that many young women doctors, want to just stay at home and do housework without having careers. May give up careers to have children. It strikes to young doctors as a surprise, simply how difficult it is to build a family. The learning curve of taking care of family along with professional responsibilities is too steep. In such situations, when everything is compounded, with workload, it becomes utterly exhaustive.
Breaks taken for family requirements may be taken as red flags, by employers. Delivery and feeding child become difficult tasks specially in clinical branches, where long duties are routine.
Motherhood needs to be squeezed in between the requirement of profession. Changes in schedule or adjustments made are perceived as “being different”.
While women are increasingly represented in the medical field, they still face challenges balancing work and home life. The frustrations manifest in burnout and dissatisfaction within a field they once enjoyed.
also read: work-life imbalance for doctors/nurse & consequences