Some of us can find any excuse for not using up all of our vacation days during the year. But taking a vacation is actually good for your health. We asked a laboratory professional, a pathologist and a resident to share their reflections on the value of taking vacation time and how it affects patient care!
“Often when people take vacation from work it is for several reasons other than vacation:
- I will lose it if I don’t use it.
- I cannot carry over more vacation time since I am at my max.
- I need to take time off to take care of my aunt, etc.
This is not vacation. I understand those excuses, but one really needs to take a vacation away from work and relax. We need to take a time where there is nothing pressing in our lives and relax. We all love our jobs and don’t want to be slackers, and, sometimes, even fellow employees give you a hard time about the workload you will dump on them. Life is too short, which we learn late in life, to not take time for yourself. I, like others, missed a lot of vacation time because I was concerned about the workload. Don’t do that. The lab will survive without you! The best part is that when we return, we are employees who are better, relaxed and ready for work.”
Diane Sterchi, HTL(ASCP)
“Personally, I see vacation as a time to recharge and miss being at work. Thankfully, I am in a position to take yearly trips overseas. I find these trips especially helpful because it forces me to go without my cell phone and email (which would never happen otherwise). Stepping away from work also gives your co-workers time to notice your absence and appreciate your return.”
Dana Altenburger, MD, FASCP
“Physician well-being plays an important role in ensuring the safest and best possible care for patients, as well as ensuring one's own life satisfaction. Taking and enjoying vacation has a profound effect on well-being. Time away from work, even if just for a day, leaves the mind refreshed, refocused and ready to tackle challenges with a new sense of energy. Vacation prevents burn-out from work and focuses attention on other things that are often neglected, such as health, family and friends.”
Jennifer Woo, MD