Perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing the healthcare industry today is how burnout is affecting its workers. Healthcare is quite literally a life and death job, and that comes with a great deal of stress which can naturally impact those carrying the burden of care each day. But what exactly is burnout, and just how common is it? Let’s dig in.
What is burnout?
Work burnout is a specific type of job-related stress, marked by physical and/or emotional exhaustion, along with a loss of identity and a reduced sense of accomplishment. Symptoms of burnout include:
- Becoming critical or cynical about work
- Being irritable or impatient with colleagues, patients, and families
- Difficulty concentrating
- A lack of satisfaction in achievements
- Change in sleep habits
- Physical complaints such as headaches and bowel or stomach problems
There are many things that can increase the risk of burnout, and many in the healthcare industry find themselves faced with at least one of these factors:
- Lack of control over things like schedule and workloads
- Lack of work/life balance
- A chaotic, intense job that is mentally or physically taxing
- Ever-changing job expectations
- Lack of support
Burnout itself can also be caused by other stressful situations such as romantic relationships, parenting, or caretaking, but work is the most frequent cause.
How common is burnout?
Burnout has been relatively commonplace in the healthcare industry for the past several years, and unfortunately the frequency with which healthcare workers experience burnout has only increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the APA’s 2021 Work and Well-Being Survey, out of 1,501 US workers, 79% reported experiencing stress related to work in the month prior, while 26% reported a lack of energy, interest, or motivation in their work. Additionally, 19% reported a lack of effort at work, 36% had cognitive weariness, 32% reported emotional exhaustion, and 44% had physical fatigue, with that number up 38% since 2019.
In the United States, the highest rates of burnout are typically found among healthcare workers and teachers. It’s estimated that roughly 25% of US clinicians are thinking of leaving healthcare, many of them citing burnout as their reasoning. In fact, 40% of practices report having a physician retire early or resign due to burnout in the past year.
Clearly, burnout is a big problem in the healthcare industry and one that can have dangerous consequences. There are ways to deal with burnout, though, and one of the biggest ways to counteract this crisis is to support clinical staff and provide them with the tools they need to ease their burden.
At Henry Schein MicroMD we strive to ensure that our simple, customizable, and connected MicroMD EMR and our robust MicroMD PM are able to fit into your practice’s workflow and ease your providers’ burden rather than adding just another task. We also offer a suite of solutions through our Solutions Central that can automate tasks and streamline your workflow, enabling your providers to breathe a little easier in their day-to-day work.
If you’re ready to get started, or even just learn more, visit our website at www.micromd.com or call 1-800-624-8832.
About the author,
Crystal is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Henry Schein MicroMD. Content creation, social media management, and SEO optimization are just a few of her areas of concentration as she seeks to educate clients and prospects alike about the simple, customizable, and connected solutions we offer at MicroMD.
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