Refueling the Passion for your Profession

DOCBytes – Special edition

creative three-dimensional model of real human brain and scan on

I received a call today from a very passionate and well-informed HIM professional. At first, we were discussing where our profession is going and what credentials would be suitable for her going forward. As we continued to talk I realized the conversation was not so much about getting more credentials but more about feeling gratification and satisfaction in your job and refueling from the day to day, month to month, and year to year drain we can feel from continually giving our all. Keep in mind she has a number of credentials and no desire to attain another or leave her job. This was kinda like, you absolutely loved that coding audit you just completed but gee whiz; you feel like something is missing. Don’t get me wrong, credentials and education are wonderful and necessary but sometimes, it’s more than that. Let’s spend some time discussing this and refuel in the process.

First of all let me say there are many types of people and we all have different needs. Times have certainly changed and now we have employees and coworkers that work remotely. The impact of this change can be an adjustment for the employee and leadership. It is okay to have the need to feel gratified in what you do from day to day. Unfortunately, you may not get that feeling as quickly as you would like or at all. It is important as managers that we give that feedback but as individuals if we are not sharing that with our leadership, we should seek out how to share this with our leaders if possible or seek other areas and opportunities for this.

We did continue the conversation and of course we talked about coworkers that have seemed to “check-out” of their profession. “What? We have folks checking out!” you may ask. Well yes somewhat.  If you are not being satisfied and just going through the motions, you have checked-out. The healthcare industry is moving at a tremendous pace. Technology is coming at us, people are coming at us, and change in policy, regulation, process is coming at us, and this can make for a challenging work environment. All those things can give you a tendency to want to check-out. After you finish that meeting, hang up that phone or walk out of the office, IT’S A WRAP and this seems so unlike you, right? Those that can preserve some element of gratification or can refocus on why you are there in the first place can stay in sync.

Some of us have a job, some a career, and some have a calling. Many healthcare professionals I speak with especially feel they have a career that is a calling; especially clinical staff and I would add HIM professionals. There is also those that just see their shift as a job. The excerpt below is from Mayo Clinic and speaks to going sour in your job but I believe it applies to those missing something and needing to refuel.

“If you’ve gone sour on your job, think about what motivates and inspires you — and how you approach your work. For example:

  • It’s a job. If you approach work as a job, you focus primarily on the financial rewards. The nature of the work might hold little interest for you. What’s important is the money. If a job with more pay comes your way, you’ll likely move on.
  • It’s a career. If you approach work as a career, you’re likely interested in advancement. Your current job might be a steppingstone to your ultimate goal. What’s important is to be regarded as a success in your field.
  • It’s a calling. If you approach your job as a calling, you focus on the work itself. You’re less interested in financial gain or career advancement, preferring instead to find a sense of fulfillment from the work itself.”

Job satisfaction: How to make work more rewarding

So I can say disconnect when needed (a tropical getaway sounds good right now with this COLD weather) but remember if you have checked out of your job/profession it is visible. Try to find your gratification and refuel. It could be as simple as, getting involved in your associations, mentoring, writing an article, volunteering for that project, or maybe you do need that beach or a job change. With the right approach, this could be great reinforcement and a positive way to continually build your body of work for personal and professional advancement.



Sharon Easterling, MHA, RHIA, CCS, CDIP, FAHIMA


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