Biz: How do you stay balanced?
V.G.: My favorite saying is “It wasn’t broken overnight, so we’re not going to fix it overnight.” My team gets frustrated because we’re trying to change overarching processes, but we have to celebrate the small wins. If you don’t, it leads to burnout.
Biz: How do you manage burnout in the medical field?
V.G.: I’ve done a lot of work on burnout with critical care nurses across the U.S., but there’s not a lot of research on middle management. They’re pushed from below by their staff; they’re pushed from above by their administrators. But the challenge with being a leader in healthcare is that we’re open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. There’s literature showing that the human brain cannot withstand more than 10 hours of ongoing thinking. We require many healthcare workers to work 12-hour shifts. That’s a challenge. In my own life, I try to have at least one day where I unplug completely.