Pandemic causing ‘Great Resignation’ of doctors and nurses

The health care profession is hemorrhaging workers, with nearly one in five quitting since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to a recent report in the Atlantic.

The industry lost approximately half a million workers since February 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Nurses spent a year battling a largely unknown assailant. Running low on gear. Fearing we might bring something deadly home. Getting coughed on by people who pretended that our fights were imaginary, that our struggles—watching people die, day after day, no matter what we did—were literally fake,” an intensive care nurse wrote in a new book chronicling her poignant experiences during the height of the pandemic.

The report explains that the reasons for leaving are many. Some are too traumatized to work anymore, others are forced out, suffering from long-term side effects after contracting COVID-19, a proportion lost their jobs, while many decided to leave the profession on their own volition.

And this may be only the beginning: A Morning Consult survey noted 31% of the remaining health care workforce have considered leaving their current employer, while 66% of acute and critical care nurses have considered leaving their profession, according to the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

The report also noted between 35 and 54% of American nurses and physicians felt burned out already before the pandemic began, overwhelmed by the death, trauma and stress that are just part of the standard job description for being a physician or nurse, but the COVID-19 pandemic magnified all of it in a way that became demoralizing and unstainable for some.- READ MORE