Do no harm : health systems' duty to promote clinician well-being
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Burnout and mental health disorders plague the health care workforce. Since the pandemic began, there has been an uptick in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and suicidality among health care professionals.1 These threats to the workforce existed before the pandemic. However, they have been exacerbated by the pandemic and are likely to persist for years ahead.2 The attention toward clinician well-being was heightened during the initial surges of COVID cases.3 The nation watched as these individuals struggled with patient acuity and volume, lack of resources, and difficult clinical and personal life decisions. The subsequent surges during various iterations of the pandemic only heightened these issues. Sadly, these problems only intensified with hiring freezes, a lack of salary increases, and a higher emotional burden for practitioners and patients.4 As a result, clinicians became more vocal (and were sometimes heard) across the globe as they discussed: moral injury in allocating care, the dangers of bringing COVID home with them, and frustrations around public policy and behavior, to name a few poignant topics. Due to the initial hiring-freeze policies, the system became overburdened at a time when it needed the most support. Many providers are now stressed by the lack of resources and the ultimate threats to their patients and their license to practice.
Am j Hosp Med 2022 Oct;6(4): 2022.
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