5 Tips for Avoiding BCBA Burnout

Karen Lee

Long days on the road, bouncing from client to client and working out of a car are all factors that may contribute to BCBA burnout.  Finding ways to cope with the stress and unusual working conditions are key to staying happy and healthy in the field.

According to a recent Gallup study, approximately two thirds of employees report times of feeling burnout at work. Those who may be at a higher risk for burnout “identify so strongly with work that they lack balance between work life and personal life, have a high work load or those who work in a helping professional, such as healthcare.”

Avoiding BCBA burnout is key in maintaining a healthy mind and body. We compiled some tips to keep your stress down so you can bring your best to your jobs and your clients every day.

#1 Self Care

Self care is important for everyone, but is especially key for people who have high stress jobs, including careers where patient care is a main focus.  Caring for others day after day causes some BCBAs to forget to practice self care.

Some might immediately think of self care as bubble baths, meditation or pedicures but it can include much more than that.  The key to self care is finding what works best for you.

It may take some trial and error, but spend a little time finding things that bring you joy and relaxation. Great places to explore could be activities like painting, reading a book or gardening. You might also want to learn new skills such as sewing or cooking. 

Finding hobbies that help you relax and recharge will help you handle stress better and keep energy levels up. 

#2 Exercise

Just like self care, exercise can be an easy thing to forget when you are busy.  But the American Heart Association shows that making time for exercise has mental benefits such as lower risk for anxiety & depression along with a better quality of life and sense of well-being. 

They recommend 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise which is just 30 minutes, five times per week.  Try fitting it in immediately in the morning before the day’s tasks take over or create some time on your lunch hour. 

Here are some great yoga poses that you can do anywhere.

#3 Organize Your “Office”

Conducting a lot of your office work from your car would be overwhelming for anybody and BCBAs sometimes conduct most of their work from their vehicles.  Implementing ways to keep yourself organized while on the road will not only keep your stress down it will keep you efficient.

Create a filing system for your patients that allows you to keep paperwork organized and easy to access whether in your car, office or patient’s home. 

Using color coding & labeling systems are a great way to ensure everything stays orderly & easy to find.

You can also explore ways to digitize as much as possible using online software to house notes & patients treatment plans so they are accessible from any mobile device. 

#4 Set Boundaries

Set boundaries with your clients and with yourself.  While your job is a huge part of your life, it is not your entire life.  Many providers are also spouses, parents, community members and much more. 

Learning to say no can be difficult for anyone but seems to be even harder for people who have dedicated their lives to helping others.  You want to always say yes because your career and family are important to you.

However, being realistic about what you can handle is critical in keeping stress and overwhelm at bay. 

With your patients make sure to set boundaries with your availability by not constantly checking your emails or answering your phone after hours. 

With your family, making time for self care isn’t being selfish.  Remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup. Taking care of yourself first is vital in avoiding BCBA burnout.

#5 Delegate

One of the biggest reasons people face burnout every day is because of their lack of delegation.  Thinking you can do it all is bad for your health and bad for business.

Think you don’t have the funds to hire help?  According to a Xero study, 33% of business owners who delegate report higher income than businesses that don’t make it appoint to delegate tasks. 

Look at your practice and start by determining tasks that no one but you could perform.  Then find a couple areas where you could use some help.

Great areas to outsource could be customer service and patient billing.  Hiring a professional billing company allows you to focus on caring for your patients instead of worrying about payments.

Ponderosa Billing reports an average collections increase of 20% for their clients while also saving them 10-15 hours per week.

Professional billing companies have the software, team and expertise to create an efficient billing system for their clients while helping them report higher earnings with less stress.

To learn more about Ponderosa’s billing services, please contact us here.

And for more tips on effectively managing your business check out:  Managing Your Practice and Your Business Go Hand In Hand.