A rough day on the job may lead you to pull a pint of ice cream from the freezer in the evening. However, a string of rough weeks and months may be causing you to rethink why you even chose your health care career in the first place. After all, the long hours, stressful work environment and mounds of paperwork may be causing you to feel more exhausted than energized most days. If you are struggling through a tough patch at work, try focusing on the whys of your job to remember why you felt called into a health career and to reinvigorate yourself as you interact with your patients.

Remember How You Felt in the Beginning

When you first considered a career in health care, you probably felt incredibly excited about how your work would be able to impact so many lives. You may have felt invigorated by the thought of constantly learning something new or of choosing a job that required so many interpersonal skills.

Reassess Your Goals and Set New Ones

Now that you are in the thick of your career so to speak, you may realize that some of your goals were not applicable to what you would actually be doing. You may see that the glory of saving patients’ lives may not overshadow the difficulties of the everyday work. If you are feeling a bit down in this area, consider setting new goals for yourself to keep your career on track or to move it to the next level.

Talk to a Trusted Advisor

Sometimes it may seem difficult to process your feelings on your own. You may not be seeing the big picture clearly, and you may need to talk to a friend or therapist to clarify your feelings and concerns. Consider finding a mentor in your department who will understand your worries.

Celebrate What You Have Achieved

No matter how hard your daily work is, there is always something to celebrate with a career in the health care field. Whether you are saving lives, helping individuals achieve better health, working in health care research or setting worried minds at ease, you are making a difference in the world.

Try Adding Something New

You may benefit from taking your daily work in a new direction. Consider learning how to work with a specific machine so that you can take care of the sickest patients. Ask to be on a research or patient satisfaction team at your hospital. You may even want to consider a switch to a new unit. You could also challenge yourself with a new certification course, such as one for ACLS, PALS or trauma nursing. You can find these and many more through Project Heartbeat.

As with any job, it can be easy to feel as if you are in a rut in your health care career. When you are caught in the daily grind and in the worries and stresses of your job, it can also be easy to forget why you chose a career in health care in the first place. However, by reassessing your career focus and goals, branching out with something new and considering whether it is time to shake up your daily work, you can find renewed joy and peace in what you do every week.