Stress and fatigue in general practice
We encourage you and your practice to be familiar with our policy position statement, Stress and fatigue in General Practice. It covers important information about what stress and fatigue means in clinical general practice, and provides suggestions for effective discussions between registrars and supervisors on managing stress and fatigue.
We encourage you to actively look out for warning signs of fatigue and burnout in both yourself and your colleagues. Signs of burnout include exhaustion, desensitisation, a lack of meaning, preoccupation with work and making mistakes.
Find yourself a GP, in a different practice to your own, if possible, who you feel comfortable talking to about work and personal stresses and attend regularly for preventive health.
If you are travelling long distances, at night or on rural roads, it’s your responsibility to be safe while driving. Psychomotor and other functions can be affected by fatigue, and it has been shown that cognitive impairment, reduced motor control and microsleeps increase in fatigued doctors, with obvious implications for road safety.
We strongly encourage you to be safe and avoid driving when fatigued.
Tips for preventing and managing fatigue
• Practise good sleep hygiene, including having a restful sleep environment and avoiding using devices and other technology before bedtime.
• Get regular exercise.
• Eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of fluids and limit your intake of alcohol.
• Take regular breaks at work.