The past two years have been a trying time for healthcare workers, with the added stressors of quarantine, social distancing, and heightened work pressure leading to feelings of isolation. Without a strong support system and social connections, burnout can quickly set in, causing negative impacts on mental health. Building connections with fellow healthcare professionals who understand your experiences can be a powerful tool in mitigating these effects.

Why is it important to connect with your colleagues?

It may not seem like it, but making friends with your colleagues can significantly improve your performance at work. Not only can it help make your workplace a more positive and productive place, but it can have a strong impact on your mental health.

Improve Your Mental Health

Strengthening your mental well-being is essential for healthcare professionals, and it has gained greater recognition in recent times. Although employers have a crucial role in creating supportive environments, there are also personal actions you can take to enhance your mental health.

The American Medical Association has recently released a guide to help healthcare workers manage their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the topics covered is the psychological effects of quarantine. To support mental well-being, the guide suggests combining strategies for physical and social wellness. Mental health experts concur that social connections play a crucial role in mitigating negative psychological effects during challenging times.

Alleviate Stress

Working alongside other healthcare professionals who share a common understanding and trust can greatly alleviate stress in the workplace. Being able to talk about both the positive and negative aspects of work with people in a similar field provides a level of comfort and support. Colleagues in the healthcare industry often have a better understanding of work-related experiences and can offer relevant advice based on past experiences.

Build Connections

It’s crucial for healthcare workers to foster relationships with their colleagues, even in short-term assignments. Building connections with your team can help you acclimate to a new work environment faster and may lead to unexpected opportunities. Isolation from peers can have detrimental effects on both your professional and personal life, making it difficult to understand and collaborate with coworkers, cope with job stress, and feel connected to your profession. By supporting each other, healthcare workers can strengthen their ability to provide quality care to patients.

What are some ways to connect?

It’s not always easy to connect with your coworkers in faster-paced workplaces, but it can be done. The most important thing to remember is to stay open-minded, especially if you’re not used to socializing with colleagues.

Workplace Relationships

Forming workplace relationships doesn’t have to be complicated. Start by striking up a conversation during a break or after a shift. Plan a coffee or lunch with a colleague from your unit. If you frequently work with the same individuals, consider starting a group chat on text or through apps like WhatsApp. This can help you coordinate work-related matters, and also provide an opportunity to socialize outside of work or chat with a coworker.

Working alongside your teammates is a great way to learn your strengths, weaknesses, and how best to support each other. Offer help to your coworkers and accept their help in return. With effective communication, teamwork, and a willingness to learn from and teach each other, you can work together smoothly and create more positive outcomes for patients.

If you’re a traveling professional, reach out to your colleagues and ask about their favorite things in the area. Find out new places to explore, top dining and shopping spots, and must-visit attractions from those who live in the area. Take advantage of your time off and explore these places with your coworkers. Even after moving on to a new assignment, keep in touch with your former colleagues. Those relationships, if maintained, can be long-lasting and continue to benefit you throughout your career.

Don’t hesitate to share your interests and hobbies with your coworkers. You may be surprised to find common ground with others and discover that there is more to your colleagues than just work. This can help you form new and meaningful connections that go beyond the clinic walls.

How else can you connect with fellow healthcare professionals?

Your connections don’t have to stop at the clinic doors. There is a whole world of healthcare communities online to explore!

Social Media

Social media offers an excellent platform for healthcare professionals to connect, exchange ideas and find new opportunities. Join professional groups on Facebook, Reddit or LinkedIn based on your area of expertise or location. Utilize hashtags on Twitter and LinkedIn to search and follow other professionals in your field. By connecting with others in your profession, you can gain insights on career tips, personal experiences and new opportunities.

Healthcare Apps

There are countless healthcare apps that can help you find community in the industry. The most well-known of these is Sermo, which has over 800,000 doctor users and is the top social networking app for doctors. The Student Doctor Network offers free resources and lively discussion forums for medical students across specialties. Another app, Figure1, enables doctors to collaborate and learn from one another by working on actual patient outcomes together.

Having strong connections with coworkers, either in the workplace or online, can boost your morale and support your professional growth. A well-rounded social life leads to a more balanced state of mind. We hope that you find meaningful connections with your colleagues and carry them with you throughout your medical career!


Are you searching for a clinic that aligns with your values and culture? TheraEx Locums can help by matching you with Locum Tenens opportunities across the U.S. Let’s work together to find the ideal assignment that fits your needs.

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