Medical Health Cluster

7 enero, 2022

New Plans Focus on Health Care Workers’ Mental Health

COVID-19 has exacerbated the widespread burnout that already existed among the nation’s 20 million health care workers, said NIOSH Director John Howard, MD. He cited several studies documenting these trends. For example, a survey of 1119 health care workers conducted from June through September 2020 found that 76% were experiencing exhaustion or burnout. Overall, about 22% of health care workers reported moderate depression or posttraumatic stress disorder during the pandemic, according to a recent review of studies from 21 countries that included about 97 000 health care workers.

In addition, a survey of 400 frontline nurses found that 22% have contemplated leaving their positions. Another survey of 6000 acute and critical care nurses found that 66% have considered leaving the profession because of their pandemic-related experiences. More than half of about 26 000 public health workers surveyed by the CDC in March and April 2021 reported having mental health symptoms.

US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, said during the panel that he is working on an initiative to reduce clinicians’ administrative burdens that contribute to burnout. Murthy said he’s also drafting a blueprint that’s intended to improve health care workers’ mental health. Howard said NIOSH is building on its existing programs, including the Total Worker Health program, to better integrate primary prevention of mental health conditions for health care workers.

“We owe our health care workers and their families a debt of gratitude, but we also owe them a debt of action,” Murthy said. “It’s long past time we take care of those who take care of us.”

Créditos: Comité científico Covid

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