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Dealing with burnout

Posted By: Lynn Jacoby on 2005-07-18
In Reply to:


Is anyone out there dealing with burnout due to their transcription job? I have been doing this for 7 years as an Independent with only 1 vacation in that time. I work weekends and holidays and feel like I am about ready to yank my freaking hair out from the responsibility!!!


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Three-job burnout
A co-worker took on a second and now a third job. I can see where in trying to get a "balance" her work is suffering especially in turnaround time and also some quality issues. I believe that if you take on additional work, your first obligation is to your first job, second obligation to your second job, and so on. If the second and/or third jobs pay more, that matters not. I think it is called honoring your committment. Anyhow, too much work will eventually leave you burned out and you may end up sick and/or running as far as you can from this work. Would think very carefully about divying yourself up into too many pieces. Best regards.
So, if your post is correct it seems you probably need a vacation, at least. I have done what you say you do and, believe me, it can suck you dry. It is hard to do so many things 24/7/365, used to find myself sitting in my chair at home in the same pajamas I had on 14 hours before. I found I needed a better quality of life. My best advice to you is to take a break and post us when you get back and feel better and not so offensive/defensive. Good luck.
WOW - I couldn't have said anything better than these posters. Have been there several times over the past 25 years - the last after my son died, and am so thankful I didn't get fired the several years it took me to get back up to speed afterward. Truly, maybe working inhouse would be a good thing for a while for you.

Love, blessings, hugs, understanding.
Would it be possible for you to take a part-time job doing something -anything - else to get out of the house and be with people and cut down a bit on your transcription hours?  I know you have to make your bills, but if you're not producing would you be losing a lot by trying something else?  Or maybe at least ask for a different account?  Or maybe find a different service for whom to work?  I know this is scary to think about, much less do, particularly as we age.  My guess is I'm a bit older than you, having been in transcription for 31 years, but perhaps not.  Perhaps you are a late bloomer (she smiles).  I've been where you are, and sadly, the road I'm traveling down at the moment is starting to look familiar, like I'm headed back to that same spot.  In my case, the first time around, I took a temporary part-time job in Geographic Information Systems for a local municipality.  I'd taken the classes for fun at the junior college but had no experience.  I was given very low-level work, but it was different from transcription, I was learning more about GIS than I had at school, I loved it and the people were super!  When I came home to start transcribing, I was in a much better mood and production increased.  I hope you can find something, because your pain is coming through loud and clear.
ahh, burnout

After about 12 years of being an MT, I found myself suffering from burnout.  Right about that time, I was offered the job of 1st & 2nd grade teacher at the tiny Christian school my kids attended.  I was really looking forward to something new.  After only 2 months, I was over my burnout but I was committed to finish out the rest of the school year.  It was the longest 7 months of my life.   

I think the burnout came from having had the same account for so long (nearly 10 years).  Every day was the same.  Maybe just learning a new account or a new specialty would help you get over the burnout.  Although I hate the pay cut that invariably comes with any new account, I always feel proud of myself for rising to the challenge and learning new things.  It keeps things interesting. 

This may sound silly, but do you have any scenery where you transcribe?  I sit in front of a picture window in my office and watch the birds and squirrels.  I have become quite an avid birdwatcher while I work.  It doesn't take a lot of time out of the day, but it gives me something else to look at besides the computer screen. 

on the edge of burnout
It sounds like you're on the edge of burnout.  I was there a few years ago.  You just have to force yourself to stop working at 5 (or whenever your shift is done) and close the door and not look back at that computer.
How do you handle burnout as MT? Any
suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I've only been doing this for 7-1/2 years and I've about had it with all the junk.
severe burnout

I just can't do MT anymore.  I've been doing it for 30 years, the last 6 with a national that begins and ends with an S.  I so tired of their lies and garbage.   I also edit as an IC which I enjoy but can't get steady hours.  I'm presently on intermittent FMLA from "S" for my mom who is a paraplegic and they're giving me all kinds of grief over it.   My supervisor is doing everything she can to put roadblocks in front of me. She won't me change accounts permanently.  I get put on an account I'm good at and can get good line counts on for awhile and then I'm put back on the account I told her I hate and can't make money on.  This happens over and over again.  She also won't let me taking an editing job or change my hours.   I received their "certificates" for quality and attendance, but not for production which is the only thing they care about since only 62% of the company made 98% or more quality.  Some days I just can't sit and work.  I'm totally burned out and the above doesn't help.

I'd leave in a minute if I thought another place would be better, but I'm not convinced it would be.  Add to that the fact that I only have dial-up, need health insurance as I am single and can't afford a good computer at this time. 

Sorry for the long post.  Just needed to vent.  Has anyone been in this situation?  What can I do?   I'm working 50-60 hours a week and still can't make a living.  I'm really ready to go on welfare rather than keep working.


So your answer to the the OP's burnout
the boss and I am a child.  If that is what you got out of the post, then I AM SO RIGHT ALL ALONG!!!! 
burnout/changing companies
Hi everyone - I post here frequently but I need to remain anonymous for this one; hope you understand.

I'm looking for thoughts from MTs about whether switching to a different company alleviated burnout. I am trying to figure out if it's MT itself, or just the service I work for, that is causing my severe burnout.

I'm on the verge of hauling myself to a doctor for antidepressants (paying out of pocket, of course... no psych insurance coverage as an IC!) and my line counts have dropped drastically. I have bilateral CTS to boot. I'm struggling pretty badly with all the "classic" burnout signs.

Thanks all!
Taking a vacation due to burnout
MTs to boost production.  Having contests to see who can do the most is more like something a 12-year-old would do in my opinion.  Furthermore, this is not a game people play.  This is a job.  The doctors are relying on transcriptionists to do a good job.  We cry we want more money, we have to work for it, and then we cry that we're burned out????      Get a life!
Plain and simple burnout.

I used to carry two pagers for two hospitals all by myself, 24/7.  They went off maybe a couple of times a month.  The chore of being on-call is now shared with a few other people but now the after-hour pages come in nonstop and I don't know why.  Me thinks some deal was made to keep an account or something but I really am just pulling that answer out of my tuckas.  It's gotta be costing the hospitals a mint to have us at their beck and call like that....either that or they got a really sweet deal. 

The other issue is it used to be a much more laid back environment.  You logged on, did your work, and you were left alone.  You kept an eye out for stats yourself and took care of them, because you are there because you are responsible. 

Now you log on, strike up this thing called Instant Messenger, and sit there at your desk working your alloted shift but can't get up because you must be present if you get an IM for a stat...even though you are already on it because it's your job to be.  Want to take a break?  Yeah, sure, once you finish up this stat.  Oh wait, I've got another one here that needs to be done super duper stat....you know what I'm talkin' about too, lurkers.

Ya know the movie, Office Space?  I'm always referring to it with this company.  You know the scene with the TPS reports, where the fella has 4 bosses telling him the same darned thing even though you already know your job?  That's what I'm dealing with and, yeah, I've been reduced to the mumbling dude who worries about his stapler.

I don't blame my bosses at all, but the micromanaging thing is out of control and I have no idea why it has come to be, because it wasn't like this before.  The days of a happier Hayseed with high line counts and company pride are long gone.  I don't know who works there anymore as the folks I knew have all left, and that's made an impact as well.  Ask for new scenery because of burnout, and all you get is a strokin', nothing more. 


Contracts....burnout.......etc....open and read

I was just reading your post and I do understand where you are coming from. First of all, let me start by saying I will never do a non-contracted job again and every job that I have is contracted. :)

Secondly, I know how you feel about being "stuck inside"--Yep, been there, done that....burnout. I was so ready to go to work in the big world again. So, I left transcription at home, hired a babysitter and went to work in my secondary field as a medical assistant. After three months of it, I was so ready to come back home, and I missed my transcription so badly...AND MY KIDS.

I came back home, been here again for over a year. I can say it is better this time around, I appreciate MT more and I am absolutely taking in every moment I can with my kids. At least I know when my babies get sick, I will be the one nurturing them..and bringing home a paycheck at the same time. :)

Sometimes it is hard to balance everything at once, and the thought of going back outside the home to work seems like an easy answer, but believe me, it is better to be home. :)
I suffered from major burnout about 4 years ago. sm

Was at a major company that I liked for a year, then they made some changes and it was a nightmare for the second year.  I went to a smaller company for awhile, they were great but I found it harder and harder to sit down and pull reports.  I got to the point I was only doing about 300 lines a day.  I made a change to a small company as IC, and chose one where so many minutes were dumped on me for the day.  I knew I had to finish those minutes, and before I knew it I was back to about 800 lines a day, six days a week.  That is all I can do without developing CT myself; I have learned this over the years.  Now I'm starting some editing part time, so I can earn more without losing the use of my hands.

If you already have CT, you might have to get into something different, like editing.  It doesn't seem realistic to keep working, knowing you're doing more damage and will shortly be unable to work anyway.  I'd be looking for a change.

Whatever you do, try to find the motivation that works.  I didn't find thinking about unpaid bills or setting a financial goal each month helped, it just made me depressed when I couldn't reach it.  I focused on the positive, like being able to do 50 lines more daily this week than last, adding minutes each week until I reached my goal.  I also make sure to take two weeks off at different times each year and go some place at least once, something I neglected for years.  I come back refreshed.

Best of luck to you; it's a difficult situation.


I read a book once that burnout was caused by being out of balance. sm
Working too much and not giving time to other parts of your life is the culprit in the job arena. Variety is the spice of life, so focusing on balancing your job, your need for a good cash flow, with times to enjoy yourself is essential.

It takes work, and fortunately I have an S/O that demands that I take time for us to have fun and for "me" to have fun as an individual.

Unfortunately, their way of dealing SM

with what they call a "troublemaker" on that forum is to state that the discussion has gone as far as it can go and they proceed to lock the topic.  If you try to open a new topic, they lock that one also.

There are so many issues they have done this on, their advertising ethics, the cost of the BOS, not giving the journal to student members...they just say IT'S BEEN DECIDED, NO FURTHER DISCUSSION.  Really makes someone want to join, doesn't it? 


Dealing with it
We went to a lot of counseling and at first I did not agree with the counselor but now I see where he was coming from.  It was worse in my situation as my husband is a truck driver and was on the road a lot and so I was the main discipline, rule maker, etc.  His son lived with us twice and when he stole our car, etc. he did go back to Florida where his mother lived as he had outstanding juvenile warrants down there that his mother forgot to tell us about when she shipped him to us.  But looking back I definitely see where it was the unstable life style and the first time that he was as bad as he was, we should not have sent him back to him Mom where he wanted to go.  That is how he controlled us was by being bad.  Now I see what the counselor was saying that no matter what he did, we were not to send him back to his mother but we did.  Even if we had to separate but basically what the counselor was trying to do was to get Jeff to quit his job and stay more at home and be with his son more which he refused to do, so the first time (age 11) he took a butcher knife to new furniture, stole money and checks and took his bicycle trying to run away to Florida.  Then he came back at age 16 and did the car thing.  But I truly think that if we had stuck it out the first time, it might have made a difference but who knows.  But my ex also had two daughters from a second marriage and I am closer to them than he is.  We are now divorced -- no children -- after 22 years but I stay in contact with the kids --well grown kids now and see them.  One got married a year ago and I went to the wedding, Dad did not.  The easy thing to do is to walk away and give up, the hard thing to do is to love them and try to shape their life somewhat.  It is hard but I really don't think it is impossible at this age.  But your husband does have to lay down some rules, give you the support when you need it and let them know that they must listen to you as well.   You are a family and I always worked with the kids mother to show unity and in fact am still friends with one of them but have gotten along with both of them better than he did.   We just tried to do what was best for the kids.  But again, they do need to know you are a united front and together and at this age, they have two choices,  follow the rules and be part of a family or not and be alone.  My oldest stepdaughter called on Mother's Day to say hello and she had lived with me/us from age 19 to 21 and gave us especially me since I was home most of the time a run for our money.  Nothing like the stepson but doing some partying, not calling, things that normal kids do.  She did move out after a little over a year but stayed in the area.  She did apologize and say that she now understood where I was coming from and wished she had been a little different but she did appreciate everything I had done for her and was glad that we were still friends.   So that kind of made my day.   Again, counseling would be a good idea.  Remember that kid is coming from a different lifestyle and we expect them to adapt immediately to our lifestyle.  Like when you first get married and your first Christmas comes along and you realize you now have to deal with celebrating Christmas two different ways with two sets of traditions, it is hard.   Good luck.  Sorry I rambled on so much.   Patti
That is exactly what I am dealing with....nm
I don't like any commercials dealing with

gender, medical, racy or adult topics.  I mean, really, when's the last time you saw a feminine product on TV and decided that you simply must run to the store right away to get you some?  Cialis and Viagra?  Come on, maybe E.D. was invented to give women a break for once in their adult lives.  And all those pills being pushed by the manufacturers?  Yes, let's go to the doctor and demand pills because we're all self-diagnosing.

The only one having trouble dealing with anything is you

If your life sucks it's no one's fault but your own. Successful people take accountability for their lives and move forward instead of placing blame wherever they can and being angry at the world like you obviously are. 

The only one having trouble dealing with anything is you

If your life sucks it's no one's fault but your own. Successful people take accountability for their lives and move forward instead of placing blame wherever they can and being angry at the world like you obviously are. 

My prayers are with those who are dealing
with Hurricane Wilma.  I'm catching bits and pieces on TV and, living in the midwest, I can't imagine the fear that must go through those who stay to ride it out. I would be terrified.  God bless all of you.
Guess I'm just not used to dealing with this

In the hospital when I was in-house, the radiologists always said "assault" or even "alleged assault." They never got more specific than that.

This is the first time I have run across this particular issue as a Rad MT. I suppose it is more common to hear about it in other modalities.

I am dealing with the same thing

me since October.  They owe for three months of work at this point.  I get the runaround when asking the office staff.  I have put a call in to their accountant.  I have not approached the physician himself, but that's my next step.

My husband has told me to not type another page until I'm paid.  They owe me hundreds of dollars, and I plan to hopefully get that payment and then quit. 

It is unfortunate, but is not worth me stressing over it.  I am tired of robbing peter to pay paul, yet I've been loyal.  This same practice had the nerve to call me last week to type a STAT report for them.  How dare they? 

I am so tired of this situation and I plan to get away from it.  I would rather take a cut in pay then have no pay at all for months on end.  It is driving me insanse. 

It is to the Johns. And drug dealing is a necessary
job to the addicts.  And hey, both of those make more money than most people do working an honest job.
I've been dealing with AOL since 1996...
so U may be eligible! I don't think I've ever hated a company more...well...yeah. LOL
The person in question is not K.P. We are dealing with
and just plain out right dealing with folks!
Maybe facilities use to dealing with employees
Are you really dealing with a weight issue that significant?

BUt I like not being the boss and dealing with the headaches and I like having co-workers to help
So tired of dealing with incompetent offices...

they just emailed me for the upteenth time for a stat report that I already sent to them 40 minutes ago.  Wouldn't you think they'd check to see if they had it first!?!  Constantly emailing me questioning what they've sent me and when.  Why can't she keep logs like I do!?!  Doesn't take a rocket scientist!  Can't remember from day to day to send me patient lists.  Don't know what the heck she does with incomplete reports I've sent because doc doesn't give a name of messes up his dictation and cuts half of it off.  I'll get a call a couple of weeks later saying doc insists he dictated on so and so, but they never got the report.  I'm the one who has to go back and search for the nameless reports and match up the the patient they're missing with diagnoses, age etc., then tell her that's the one I sent you on that date that was incomplete.  Why can't she figure that out!!!  If I functioned like they do, I wouldn't last a week!  Sorry, had to vent.....

Any advice for dealing with picky eaters?

OK, I'll try to explain this the best I can.  My boyfriend has two children...one is a girl who just turned 18.  The other is a boy who is 15.  These two children will not eat ANYTHING!  The girl is pickier than the boy, but still he is bad enough on his own.  I have an 8-year-old son who will eat more of a variety than these two put together. 

I am really getting tired of eating the same old thing every week.  They will eat chicken, pork chops, burgers, hot dogs, pizza, and steak.  It gets very old.  My boyfriend and I love italian food, but if we make it we have to cook something separate for the kids (not including mine) to eat!

The girl doesn't like ham.  OH, but she will eat ham that you put on a sandwich...but if you cook a ham, she turns her nose up?!?!?  She likes baked potatoes, but not mashed?!?!?  The boy would live on pizza ANYTHING if you let him.

I know that since they are older there isn't much I can do about it.  Plus, they aren't my children, so I feel strange saying much about it.  Their dad tries to get them to try new things, but they won't do it.  In my opinion, he doesn't really try hard enough.  My son has always been made to try at least a bite of something new...if he really doesn't like it he doesn't have to eat it, but most of the time he thinks it's good.

I just am sick and tired of the dinner menu choices being so limited.  My boyfriend is a great cook (I am a good cook too, but he loves to cook, so he does most of the cooking).  I'll ask what's for dinner and then almost feel sick to my stomach when it's chicken AGAIN!!

If anyone has any advice I would appreciate it.  I think I needed to vent about it more than anything.

Anything traumatic dealing with young children gets to me (nm)
By any chance are you dealing with Indian technicians?? nm
has nothing to do with the race, but rather the communication gap when dealing with my own medical n
I pay a premium for through my health insurance coverage. I want clear communication with my physician. Please do not throw the racial aspect in, as it has absolutely no bearing on the point at hand. In fact, my gynecologist is Asian, but she has taken the time to learn our language because she chose to practice medicine here.
Been dealing with banks all morning and majorly stressed.

Have you ever had a credit card and all the phone numbers they give you do not allow you to talk to a live person, but get an automated system, that is not capable of doing what you need?   Have you ever had a late charge because it took the bank 3 days to post an on-line payment?   I'm going to have to write a letter I guess and when the next statement comes I'm paying it off and cancelling, though I'm not sure how I'll do that - have to write another letter.  

Can you use a debit card on-line just like you can a credit card.  I know most places only accept 3 major credit cards and didn't know if I entered a Visa debit # if that would be the same.  I prefer Paypal cause I keep a little stash for on-line purchase, though most places don't take Paypal at least not yet.  I just know I've got to get rid of the credit cards - much too stressful.




I didn't put up with it! I kicked my ex to the curb because I got tired of dealing with his SM

friends and incessant need to pretend he was a college boy, going to the bars, coming home drunk at 3 o'clock in the morning.  Let me tell, nothing goods from letting your man hang out in bars with his buddies.  NOTHING!  If he needs to have a drink and relax, he can do that at home and the drinks are cheaper!

I can understand that it's hard for you not to give your friend your opinion.  I can't hardly stand to see a woman letting a man treat her badly.  It drives me crazy!  Call me a feminist or a bra burner, but modern women need to get the message that we don't need men so badly we have to put up with all the garbage they hand out!

I completely agree. Working alone is so much better than dealing with all that stuff.
I was just dealing with this yesterday. I really love it when they change something to mean the exac
You're welcome! Start dealing with some lawyers, and they make MQ look nice!

I definitely feel like we are dealing with the same person! I think I need to make some phone calls
and put a stop to her!  I cannot stand the idea that she is out there still scamming people like she scammed me!
If your son's acne is not very bad and not cystic, you aren't dealing with severe acne, right?
There is a big difference. I have very oily skin that is acne prone, even now in my 40s, but my older sister's condition is much more severe, with cystic acne even on her back, like a male, and the one time I tried to tell her what was helping my skin, she let me know that what might help me was not going to be strong enough to help her. She's tried it all.