Burnout among healthcare professionals has been a global health issue long before COVID-19 pandemic, but now more than ever, the concern and attention given to the mental health status of healthcare workers is growing at a staggering rate- and for good reasons.
- emotional exhaustion
- cynicism and depersonalization
- reduced professional efficacy and personal accomplishment
A survey conducted among physicians in the USA in August 2020 found that “58% of physicians reported to often have feelings of burnout, compared to 40% in 2018. Furthermore, 22% reported knowing a physician who has committed suicide, while 26% know a physician who has considered suicide“.
Due to demanding hours, high pressure, heavy workload, social stigma and many other factors, healthcare professionals have long been susceptible to burnout, mental distress, and potentially self-destructive behaviours which have become more prevalent now, during the pandemic.
- Although 63% of respondents are satisfied with their jobs, 81% recognize that they usually work outside of their contracted working hours.
- 60% reported that they are currently feeling burned out or they are starting to show signs of burnout.
- And almost half of the respondents perceive theirwork environment to be very busy to hectic/chaotic.
Our US-based panel members also shared with us what they consider can be done to reduce burnout in the medical work environment. Amongst the most commonly mentioned things were appropriately staffing care teams, reducing administrative tasks, and more reasonable patient loads.
We also asked them what mechanisms they had to alleviate stress and while most of them spend time with family and friends and almost half of them spend time outdoors, or do moderate exercise or practice hobbies, only 10% of respondents mentioned therapy as a mechanism they use to manage and control stress.
From August to September 2020, we have surveyed over 7,000 healthcare professionals from the UK and other European countries, to learn more about how they experience burnout at their workplace. Find out what they had to say about burnout in their workplace here.