The Center for Disease Control and Prevention implores health care employers to take care of worker’s mental health and foster a healthy work environment to avoid catastrophic shortages.
According to a Maryland Matters article, the percentage of health care workers who reported feeling burned out due to the stresses of the job increased from about 32 percent in 2018 to 46 percent in 2022. A number of challenges accompanied these statistics such as reports on workplace stresses, lack of support from supervisors, insufficient time to complete tasks, and increases in harassment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts interviewed for the article, reveal that many systems across the country are dangerously close to the breaking point.
Health care workers are now more likely to say that they are likely to try to find a new job with a new employer in the next 12 months. According to the data, 44% of health care workers surveyed in 2022 said they were interested in new job opportunities, compared to 33% in 2018.
As previously reported on the Conduit Street blog, an exodus of employees from the health care sector in the wake of COVID-19 had a destabilizing effect on the industry, compounding the pressure on those who stayed. Around the same time the Maryland General Assembly passed the Maryland Essential Workers’ Protection Act in 2021, which is detailed here by the Maryland Department of Labor. Recommendations from the recent study encouraged employers to establish policies to prevent harassment and bolster community appreciation for workers. Employee participation in the decision-making process would also build trust and confidence that strategies are being taken seriously and are well-informed. With the health care crisis ongoing, further legislative measures could be on the horizon for the 2024 legislative session.