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Government seeks remedy for health care worker burnout

CDC launches campaign to address health care worker burnout

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the number of health care workers who felt burned out at work increased from 32% to 46% between 2018 and 2022.

The Indiana Hospital Association has been addressing this issue since before the pandemic. IHA Quality and Safety Advisor Laurie Gerdt said symptoms of being overworked run the gamut.

“Emotional exhaustion, lower efficacy, you’re not doing your job as well as you usually did, you’re kind of hitting the mark. Detachment, you’re just disengaged from your work, from your patients from your teammates,” said Gerdt.

The CDC launched a program called “Impact Wellbeing“, that provides guidelines to hospitals on how to help over worked employees.

One of the recommendations asks administrators to ease concerns health care professionals may have over whether sharing their mental health struggles could lead to denial of certain licensures or credentialing. The Indiana Hospital Association launched its own initiative in January called the “Safe and Sound” campaign.

“We have 34 hospitals information, over 13,000 respondents, and we are looking at about a 64% report of respondents saying that they have at least one symptom of burnout,” said Gerdt.

Indiana health care providers also talked about being impacted by patient deaths and violent events that have taken place in emergency rooms.

“When you talk about shift work and long hours and managing electronic medical records, that’s not an individual experience of burnout. That’s an organization and environmental culture that can breed burnout,” said Gerdt.

The Indiana Hospital Association advises health care providers to market and promote in-house programs available to employees that can help address their mental health.