In the roughly 10 years since EmPRO began offering emotional support tools, the company has recognized, perhaps paradoxically, that as an insurance company they’re able to provide a unique level of support to clinicians suffering from burnout and chronic stress.
Of the 267 study participants, nearly 70 were registered and advanced practice nurses, along with resident physicians, resident chaplains, attending physicians, medical center faculty, and hospital administrative/managerial clinical staff at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.
Burnout is one of the top challenges facing clinicians and other healthcare workers nationwide. In a report published in September 2020 by The Physicians Foundation, 30% of more than 2,300 physicians surveyed cited feelings of hopelessness or having no purpose due to changes in their practices related to the coronavirus pandemic. Research published in September 2018 indicates that nearly half of physicians across the country were experiencing burnout symptoms.
Before the pandemic, departments were already struggling with staff shortages. In fact, according to an article published in 2018 in the American Journal of Medical Quality, the country is forecast to have a shortage of more than half a million registered nurses by 2030. Now, as the pandemic stretches on, a growing number of nurses are being exposed to the virus, requiring time away from work to quarantine.
This past September, the Physicians Foundation released the results of a survey of more than 2,300 physicians conducted in mid- to late August, more than five months after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Nearly 60% of physicians surveyed reported feelings of burnout, compared to 40% in 2018. Half of the physicians surveyed reported experiencing anger, tearfulness, or anxiety due to the pandemic’s effect on their practice or employment.
The recent research article, which was published by JAMA Open Network, features data collected from more than 1,000 staff members at an academic medical center. Healthcare professionals were assessed for obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and shift work disorder. Burnout was assessed using the Maslach Burnout Inventory.