Athletic trainers are expected to put others health and well being before their own. When doing something like that you can eventually forget about your own health and state of mind which can take a serious toll on your mental health, your job, and cause problems to those who are around you on a regular basis. It can Cause athletic trainers to become detached and distant from others around them and their work, which eventually leads to job burnout. When Athletic Trainers get burnout, most of the time they end up emotionally exhausted and no longer want to go to work or put in full effort and energy into completing the task to the best of their ability. They become less committed and non-professional suck as having a bad attitude with co-workers and or patients/athletes But there are ways to help prevent job-burnout and dissatisfaction, such as learning how to balance your schedule and separating work from personal life. Knowing when to take a break, focus on yourself, and making sure they are getting good rest.
Job-burnout and dissatisfaction in Athletic Training.
Overwhelming amounts of obligations and commitment causes Athletic Trainers to become dissatisfied with their job, prioritizing their health will prevent them from experiencing burnout. Athletic training is one of the top careers that have many cases of job-burnout, due to the fact that they often place others well being and health before their own.
Imbalance between work and personal life
It is essential for athletic trainers to put others health before their own, but sometimes it can become too much to bare. They often focus too much on their work that they forget to take care of themselves. Such as being too focused on doing paperwork and helping a patient or athlete, they forget to eat or get a good amount of sleep. They often take their work home and stay late into the night working on paperwork and making rehab list for patients and athletes, that they forget to be social for a little while or spend time with their family. ”Many ATs discussed the lack of control or the inflexibility of work schedules as the source of conflicts in managing their personal responsibilities” (Mazerolle, Pitney, & Casa, 2011, p.27). They then start to stay late at work, at first it’s just thirty minutes but then it starts to turn into hours and as the weeks go by their spending every day staying at work late into the day which leaves no time for themselves. “Many athletic trainers find it difficult to balance time between their work and personal lives” (Mazerolle, 2017, p.1). They often don’t separate work from personal life or schedule their time well, to where it overlaps their personal time. Eventually they start to become distant and their mood changes.
After years of putting others health above their own it eventually takes a toll on their physical and mental health due to stress and being overloaded with work. “ATs are expected to be selfless, putting others’ needs first, work long hours and perform at high levels to help their patient/athlete recover. These expectations result in work-related stress” (Sitzler, 2016, p.3). The long hours and the expectation to perform at an exceptional level causes them to become overthrown by stress. As stress continues subdue them day by day it begins to affect their performance skills and may eventually send them into a spiral of depression. “Stress impacts the worker’s performance by reducing the worker’s cognitive function and capacity to perform complex skills”(Sitzler, 2016, p.4). All the stress and the start of the depression eventually causes them to become emotionally exhausted and detached from those around them.
There is a high rate of burnout in Athletic training, and is caused by many factors. “Burnout is a three-stage process: It begins with high and sustained levels of job stress; progresses to emotional exhaustion, irritability, and a defensive reaction of detachment, cynicism, and apathy; and culminates in a decreased sense of personal accomplishment” (McLaine, 2005, p.11). One of the main factors of burnout is stress. It can also be caused by athletic trainers feeling like they aren’t recognised for their work and achievements.”Job stress and burnout can be exacerbated if athletic trainers do not feel that their work efforts are recognized, appreciated, and appropriately rewarded”(McLaine, 2005, p.11). Ironically the ones who are more emotionally involved with their work are the more likely ones who experience burnout. Their passion for it causes them to put in more work, but when something goes wrong it causes their level of stress to rise greatly due to their involvement in the situation. A major sign of job burnout in Athletic training is loss of compassion for fellow co-workers and athletes/patients.
Ways to prevent job-burnout and keep good mental health
There are many ways to prevent burnout, the biggest one is being able to keep their personal life and work separate. When they start to mix that where all of the problems start to arise. Some great ways to keep work separate from their personal lives would be to leave your work at work where it belongs instead of dragging home to overthrow your personal life. Another good solution is to take a day off every now and then, such as going on a short vacation to get a mental break. Try to keep a social life, because once you get cut off from the world around you, you begin to become detached from the people around you which could slowly lead to depression. Another way to try to prevent it would be to try and make a daily routine, and if it gets disturbed try not to focus too much on the negative and focus on the positive. Don’t let things stress you out too much, it’s one of the main factors that causes burnout.
There are many professions that cause people to experience burnout and dissatisfaction with their job, and athletic training is high p on the list. Athletic trainers are expected to put others needs, wellbeing, and health over there own which slowly leads to a mix of personal life and work. That slowly leads to mental health problems which eventually leads to stress, the main factor in job-burnout. The main way to solve burnout in athletic training it to keep your work away from your life outside of work and keep up with your health and state of mind.
- Mazerolle, S. (2017). Professional Workplace Issues Experienced by the Athletic Trainer and Their Connection to Health and Well-Being. Healio, Athletic Training & Sports Health Care. Retrieved from https://www.healio.com/orthopedics/journals/atshc/2017-11-9-6/%7B0fe7f4a4-c7f4-4703-917e-fcb96caa7de3%7D/professional-workplace-issues-experienced-by-the-athletic-trainer-and-their-connection-to-health-and-well-being#divReadThis
- Barrett, J. Eason, C. Lazar, R. Mazerolle, S. (2016). Personality Traits and Burnout Among Athletic Trainers Employed in the Collegiate Setting. Journal Of Athletic Training. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5076278/
- Mazerolle, S. Pitney, W. Casa, D. Pagnotta, K. (2011). Assessing Strategies to Manage Work and Life Balance of Athletic Trainers Working in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Setting. Journal of Athletic Training. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3070507/
- Sitzler, B. (2016). Athletic Trainers, Take Care of Yourself. National Athletic Trainers Association. https://www.nata.org/blog/beth-sitzler/athletic-trainers-take-care-yourself
- McLaine, A. (2005). An Overview of Burnout in Athletic Trainers. Athletic Therapy Today. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/343e/d3ab70707ac1708a900bb0a739938ae77c57.pdf
- National Athletic Training Association. (2018). Facilitating Work-Life Balance in Athletic Training Practice Settings. Journal Of Athletic Training. https://www.nata.org/sites/default/files/facilitating_work-life_balance_in_athletic_training_practice_settings.pdf