The Healthcare Worker Shortage is Real. What Can Be Done About It?
As an inspirational healthcare speaker, I know that it is never easy to deliver bad news. However, as we near 2023, the news is dismal. According to the National Association for Healthcare Quality report:
“The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting that 500,000 nurses will leave the profession this year, resulting in a shortage of over one million nurses across the continuum of care.”
Shortages are not limited to nursing. Said a Forbes magazine article (May 2022):
“The mass exodus of unsatisfied workers—has hit few industries harder than healthcare…the field has lost an estimated 20% of its workforce, including 30% of nurses…nearly 1.7 million people have quit their healthcare jobs—equivalent to almost 3% of the healthcare workforce each month.”
Why are healthcare professionals leaving?
Overall, statistics reveal that about 1 in 3 are leaving the profession because they are “burned out.” However, other studies reveal that quitting due to burnout may be closer to 50 percent.
Certainly, COVID-19 was to blame for many departures at the start and worst of the pandemic (as well as a lack of safety equipment), but it doesn’t account for the continuing problems. Insufficient compensation and mediocre benefits along with a lack of training are also cited reasons for burnout, but all of the factors are not as important as being overwhelmed and overworked.
In one study on healthcare burnout (Hospitalcareers.com, February 2022) the true answer in my opinion, as to why healthcare worker left their jobs was locked deep inside the text:
“It’s therefore only by seeking roles in supportive, functional teams that (healthcare) job candidates can avoid this [burnout] problem.”
The words “supportive” and “functional” are telling, because they are active verbs. It means that healthcare settings need to actively have a mindset of doing something about it, and making it better not only for themselves, but for colleagues, co-workers and patients. Burnout can be avoided if common solutions are found. The way to avoid burnout is no secret, it is to share a vision for creating a great team.
Common goals are powerful tools
No matter the profession, having common goals for success accomplish great things. As an inspirational healthcare speaker, I know how tough it has been. The “world” may not understand what it is like to face 12-hour shifts, cost-cuts and often, a lack of respect. I do. Despite all of the problems that healthcare professionals face, at the end-of-the-day you save lives.
Now, it is time for you to “save yourselves,” by standing together and by being determined to help one another. There are resolutions to the burnout problem if everyone allows themselves the room and understanding to find those answers.
However, healthcare workers need strong doses of self-care first. The best environment in which to administer compassionate first-aid is where everyone understands that strength comes from compassion, determination and a willingness to see things as they can be and not as they are.
The world needs all of you. It is time to re-double your efforts to appreciate how much of a difference all of you make.
To reach Scott Burrows, Inspirational Healthcare Speaker, contact Scott today by phone at: 520-548-1169 or through this website.