It is officially summer time and the weather is beautiful across the country. Do you have a vacation planned? If the answer is YES, awesome! If the answer if NO, then why not? A vacation does not have to mean traveling. You can take a staycation right at home and explore things in your hometown and spend time with your family and friends. A vacation is a break from work and honestly as clinicians we owe it to ourselves and our patients to take a break.
1. Reset and Recharge
Our jobs are stressful. While we are constantly trying to help and rehabilitate others it can be easy to forget to take care of ourselves. Taking a week or two off from work can help us to reset and re-charge ourselves to be better clinicians for our patients.
2. School is Out and Census is Low
If you are a therapist in the school system you are probably rejoicing that school is out! If you are lucky enough not to work a summer job or summer school , then this is the perfect time to have a getaway. If you are working in a medical setting, admissions tend to be lower in the summer and there are less patients on caseload. Plus, there tends to be more per diem help available to cover vacation leaves from the school therapists who do summer PRN work.
3. You get PTO so USE IT!
Are you sitting there and reading this blog with 300 hours of paid time off in your bank? Go out and use it! This is an employee benefit and something that is meant to be used. If you decide to cash in your PTO for money, it is often at a lower rate than if you use it for actual time off. Make the most out of your benefits by using your PTO for leave and enjoy the time off.
If you are a contracted therapist or independent contractor (like myself) who does not automatically acquire PTO, do not let that be your excuse not to take a vacation. As contractors, we make more money hourly with less benefits and can plan ahead to ensure that we have money for time off. I allocate money from every paycheck to guarentee that I have funds to take time off.
4. Avoid Burnout
Therapist burnout is becoming more and more of a hot topic and some therapists are leaving the field all together. Clinician burnout was the featured cover story in the June 2017 ASHA Leader, Breaking Out of Burnout. As discussed in the Leader article, promoting a positive work/life balance is a way to help prevent employee burnout. Taking time off from work and taking time for yourself can aide with that work/life balance.
Do not let this summer go by with out taking some time off to enjoy it. Enjoy your home and local surroundings with a staycation or go out and explore a new place with a road trip or full blown getaway. Taking time off of work is not only good for you, but for your career and patients.
Comment below if you plan to take a vacation plans for this summer.