As the pandemic drags on, health workers are overworked, emotionally exhausted, and traumatized by having to ration care—and they’re burning out, The New York Times.
Negative Cycle: Health workers are leaving their jobs—either because they fell ill, or they’re quitting or retiring early. That leaves those remaining have to cover more shifts, driving more burnout. It’s a “recipe for collapse” of the workforce, says Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Michael L. Barnett.
The Quote: “We put on our masks and come to work every day because we don’t have the luxury of working from home in our pajamas, but the apathy and ennui that’s taken hold of society just makes our job feel thankless,” Erica Bial, a doctor and recovered COVID patient herself.
Little Response: The US government has shown little interest in addressing the psychological trauma of health workers, writes Victor J. Dzau in The New England Journal of Medicine. One place to start, he suggests, would be accurately counting medical worker infections and fatalities. They’ve been poorly tracked, as have other patterns contributing to burnout.
Moral Distress: Dutch researchers have found a significant factor in burnout among intensive care clinicians is the moral distress caused by a scarcity of time, personnel, and resources, reports MedPage Today.
Back to top