- More than half of healthcare workers report being burned out, while nearly a quarter are considering quitting their jobs in the near future, according to a survey from USA Today and Ipsos Research out Tuesday.
- Optimism has declined relative to spring of 2021 levels when the vaccine was initially rolling out, and respondents noted they are skeptical of how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Biden administration and American public in general have handled the pandemic, the survey found.
- Nearly 40% of respondents agreed with the statement: "The American healthcare system is on the verge of collapse."
The findings jibe with other surveys illustrating the evolving toll COVID-19 is having on the nation's healthcare workforce. Many are feeling defeated and blaming a number of factors on widespread stress and burnout, including the nation's handling of the pandemic as it stretches into another year.
For the new analysis, USA Today and Ipsos Research surveyed 1,170 healthcare workers across the country earlier this month.
Researchers compared the findings with those from a previous survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and The Washington Post in February and March of 2021, with a similar sample size of 1,327 healthcare workers.
This most recent survey found healthcare workers are still skeptical about how the pandemic is being handled, with only one in five reporting they think the pandemic is mostly or completely under control. About 60% said they don't think Americans are taking enough precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.
Respondents were slightly positive on the CDC's handling of the pandemic, though divided on the Biden administration and critical of the news media and American public, the survey found.
At the same time, a majority of healthcare workers said they have had direct experience caring for COVID-19 patients, with almost half reporting they had a patient who died from the virus.
Among those who’ve treated COVID-19 patients, 81% said they've treated unvaccinated patients, with 67% reporting their patients still expressed skepticism toward the vaccine while 38% expressed regret for not getting vaccinated.
And a quarter of healthcare workers who have treated unvaccinated patients said their patients asked for unproven COVID-19 treatments, while a third said the patient or family criticized the care they received.
All of these challenges are testing the resilience of the healthcare workforce as burnout remains largely unchecked. About half (52%) of respondents said they were burned out, roughly on par with 55% in 2021, according to the survey.
And while this survey found about a quarter of healthcare workers reporting they are likely to leave their jobs in the near future, a recent McKinsey poll found 32% of registered nurses in particular are considering leaving their jobs. That's up 10 percentage points since McKinsey conducted its previous survey, in February of last year.
Somewhat surprisingly though, a large majority of workers told USA Today and Ipsos Research they were satisfied with their jobs. About 80% of respondents reported being somewhat or very satisfied with their current job, though that's down slightly from 89% in Spring 2021.
And 73% agreed with the statement: "I love working in healthcare."
A majority reported feeling "hopeful", "motivated" or "optimistic" about going to work, though the number saying hopeful or optimistic is down compared to last year.