Burnout Among Healthcare Workers


Healthcare workers serve a vital role in society. From performing life-saving surgeries daily to providing service for patients in need, the importance of their occupation is indisputable. However, their principal role brings with it immense pressure, and during this pandemic, that pressure has only intensified.

COVID-19 is killing thousands of people daily, and doctors are working around the clock trying to help those they can while facing constant stress and disappointment. Many factors are working against them and ultimately causing the evident burnout of healthcare workers.

One stressor for doctors, nurses, and other front-line workers is their heavy workload, which increased dramatically over the past year. A study conducted by Mental Health America claims that 93% of healthcare workers experience added stress, reflecting the “burned out” feeling encompassing the medical field, which will have a severe long-term impact.

The abnormally large number of deaths that doctors witness daily now is another contributor to the trauma. While Americans are seeing the death count rise, and almost falling numb to it, doctors are present in the moment, something which can be incredibly scarring. And almost a year into the pandemic, healthcare workers must see individuals ignoring the severity of this virus, essentially bringing in more patients and more deaths.

In addition to this tension and frustration, anxiety about contracting the virus and possibly spreading it to family members is also causing major burnout. Working directly or near virus-carrying patients brings about increased risk and adds to the already heightened anxiety levels. Numerous studies verify that healthcare workers accounted for 10 – 20% of COVID-19 cases.

Healthcare workers are sacrificing their safety to provide for their communities, and the appreciation and recognition they deserve is immeasurable. Doctors are prioritized for receiving the vaccine, businesses give discounts to the diligent medical staff, and healthcare workers are honored in special events such as at The Super Bowl and The New Year’s Ball Drop. The entire country owes a great deal of gratitude to medics, doctors, and all of the health-care heroes who work with them, particularly in the current pandemic; the burnout is only making that more apparent.