A concerning 44% of healthcare professionals grapple with heightened day-to-day stress, a persistent challenge emerging as the world navigates post-pandemic terrain. In collaboration with The Logit Group, Stericycle’s 2023 Healthcare Workplace Safety Trend Report draws insights from a survey of 400 healthcare practitioners and 100 administrators. Beyond illuminating current dynamics, the report serves as a guiding resource, empowering healthcare organizations to comprehend safety profiles, enhance workplace standards, foster quality care environments, and advocate for reduced environmental impacts.
The Lingering Impact of Stress
The data paints a vivid picture of the toll taken on the emotional well-being of healthcare professionals. While there is a collective acknowledgment of improved engagement, drive, and a sense of safety in the workplace compared to the height of the pandemic, a staggering 63% of HCPs surveyed in 2023 continue to experience negative feelings, including stress, burnout, and exhaustion. A deeper dive reveals that over three-quarters occasionally experience demotivation (79%) or difficulty concentrating (77%) at work, emphasizing the persistent resonance of pandemic challenges within healthcare facilities.
Particularly noteworthy is the amplified negative emotional impact experienced by Emergency Medicine and Psychiatry professionals. Compared to the previous year, healthcare professionals (HCPs) in these specialties grapple with significantly more negative feelings. Operating at the forefront of crisis response, these dedicated individuals encounter distinct challenges that necessitate tailored support and interventions to navigate the specific stressors inherent in their roles.
Staffing Challenges: A Source of Burnout
At the core of this emotional struggle lies a critical issue: staffing challenges. The report identifies understaffing, patient volume, workload, hours, and administrative burdens as the primary triggers for burnout, exhaustion, and distraction among healthcare professionals. Staffing emerges organically as the foremost challenge in healthcare today. According to the report, when asked about the reason for feelings of burnout, exhaustion, and distraction at work, healthcare professionals said, “having to manage too many tasks at once while understaffed.” In fact, 98% stated adequate staffing is “very” or “somewhat” influential on their feelings of workplace safety. Addressing this staffing crisis becomes paramount, recognizing its intrinsic connection to the emotional well-being of the healthcare workforce.
Patient Challenges: A Dual Strain
Compounding the internal stressors are external challenges in the form of patient interactions. A concerning trend emerges as patients increasingly refuse recommended care, exhibit disruptive behavior, and become combative. This not only places additional strain on the emotional resilience of healthcare professionals but also raises legitimate concerns about workplace safety, with 63% expressing apprehensions about potential injuries stemming from patient behavior.
As healthcare organizations grapple with the pandemic’s enduring impact, prioritizing their workforce’s mental and emotional well-being becomes imperative. According to the report, 100,000 registered nurses have left the profession in the past two years, and another 610,000 plan to leave by 2027. These numbers underscore the urgency of addressing these challenges and implementing comprehensive solutions.
Ready to elevate your workforce’s health? Partner with NMS Health for your occupational health screenings. With NMS Health, you are not just identifying and preventing future illness. You’re investing in a safer, healthier future for your team. Get started today!