Doctors Complain of Burnout due to COVID-19 Pandemic
OREANDA-NEWS. Doctors working with COVID-19 patients complain of fatigue and fear it could affect their patients, a survey conducted by the Doctor's Handbook app has found. A large proportion of those who work in the "red zones" do not feel supported by their superiors.
Among doctors and nurses working in coronavirus hospitals and wards, only 12.6% say they are still "full of energy" and "go to work with interest". Another 58.1% responded that they "go to work with interest but are generally tired" and 29.3% "go to work without interest".
27.7% of doctors in 'red zones' and 31.9% of nurses working with them admitted that they often think about quitting or are 'close to it'. Among their colleagues in the "green zone" (that is, among those who do not directly encounter the hospitalised because of COVID-19), 25.2% of doctors and 17.2% of nurses are thinking of quitting.
Thirty-seven per cent of medics in both the "red" and "green" zones have experienced health problems during the pandemic due to emotional exhaustion. At the same time, the vast majority of the doctors said that their tiredness could or had also had an effect on their patients - more than 90% said there was such a risk. 22.9% of those working with COVID-19 patients admitted to being "exhausted and becoming more callous towards patients. Among those working in the "green zone" 18.9% of health workers chose this answer.
68.3% of those working in the "red zone" and almost as many in the "green zone" admitted to often hearing from their supervisors the phrase: "If you don't like it, quit”. 42% of health care workers who help those hospitalised with COVID-19 say they do not feel supported by their superiors. Among those who do not directly deal with those hospitalised because of the coronavirus, the percentage who do not see support from management is higher at 50.5%.
According to medical workers, the following measures could help to cope with burnout and fatigue in the light of the pandemic: "comfortable rooms for residents", "possibility to have a comfortable meal and rest during breaks" (these were the replies of 74,5% of doctors from "red zones" and 68% from "green zones"); "reduction of workload" (69,7% and 69,8%); "increasing public respect for the profession", "grateful posters, articles and stories" about doctors (54,8% and 51,2%).
Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova acknowledged the problem of doctors' emotional burnout amid the pandemic and noted that there is now an outflow of specialists from medicine. She did not rule out that the departure of doctors from the profession is connected with a burnout at work.