Federal agencies Worker health and wellness Health care/social assistance Health Care Workers

New guide addresses burnout in the health care industry

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Photo: NIOSH

Washington — NIOSH has published a step-by-step process for improving the mental health of hospital health care workers.

The guide features six action steps employers can take to implement and accelerate professional well-being, “which enables leaders to make system-level changes and builds trust between leaders and health care workers,” NIOSH Director John Howard said.

The action steps:

  • Conduct a review of your hospital’s operations to determine how they support professional well-being.
  • Build a dedicated team to support professional well-being.
  • Remove barriers to seeking care, such as intrusive mental health questions on credentialing applications.
  • Develop communication tools to help share updates with your workers about the hospital’s journey to improve professional well-being.
  • Integrate professional well-being measures into an ongoing quality improvement project.
  • Create a 12-month plan to move your hospital’s professional well-being work forward.

The number of health care workers reporting harassment on the job doubled from 2018 to 2022, the agency said. And in 2022, 46% said they often felt burned out – up from 32% four years earlier.

Nearly half of the health care workers NIOSH surveyed in 2022 said they intended to look for a new job, up from 33% in 2018.

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