New Study Makes a Strong Case for Protective Eyewear
Here at Bar-Ray, we salute all radiologic technologists (rad techs) for juggling the physical, mental, emotional, and rewarding aspects of their incredibly unique positions.
As the world’s largest manufacturer of radiation protective garments, we would be remiss if we didn’t care about the medical professionals who are wearing and using Bar-Ray’s aprons and wearables. That’s why this article is focused on self-care for medical professionals, especially rad techs.
The pandemic, and its escalating demand for critical bedside images, has added to rad techs’ workplace stress. At the same time, amid the pandemic, many imaging centers and radiology departments were postponing non-urgent imaging exams, which has now led to a backlog of patient appointments and schedules that are busier than ever.
In addition to concerns about rad techs’ own health and safety on the job, occupational stress and burnout are a reality for many rad techs.
As many as 45% of radiologists reported feeling burned out, according to a 2018 study that ranked the profession as the seventh-highest physician specialty experiencing burnout. And if radiologists are feeling this way, it affects rad techs as well.
That’s why rad tech self-care is more important than ever. The World Health Organization defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
Here’s a checklist of healthy practices to help and inspire rad techs:
- Stay Connected: Have regular conversations with family and friends, whether in-person or via phone or video calls.
- Get Out: Decrease screen time and increase time outdoors in nature to boost your well-being.
- Sleep Well: Because stress can interfere with sleep, protect your sleep routine by keeping a regular bedtime and limiting your caffeine.
- Gratitude Goes a Long Way: Studies show that having a practice of gratitude (focusing of things in your life for which you are thankful) shifts mental well-being to positive emotions.
All of these tips are gleaned from an article by the Mayo Clinic, “The Importance of Self-Care During Difficult Times.”
Two of the most important components to their program are:
- Nutrition Know-How: Although many of us understand healthy eating habits, we don’t always put them into practice. It’s important to set realistic nutritional goals and limit—but not forbid—treats.
- Exercise, Repeat: When schedules are busy, it can be difficult to work exercise into the mix. But one of the keys to reaping the benefits of exercise is building consistency through a regular fitness routine.
Additionally, consider these self-care add-ons:
- Reading for joy
- Focusing on a hobby or interest
- Getting therapy
Read more on the ACR’s Radiology Well-Being Program.
From all of us at Bar-Ray, we wish everyone a happy and healthy new year, filled with self-care!