stressed clinician

Burnout remained a top factor driving nurses out of the profession, according to a recent survey of 1,000 home health, hospice and palliative care professionals. 

The report by home care consulting firm Transcend Strategy Group found that burnout is most prevalent among clinicians at two points in their careers. Staff tend to leave “in the first year when new staff realize the emotional toll caregiving can take,” according to Dave Hochanadel, Transcend brand strategy and insights lead, in remarks provided with the report. “And, around the seven-year mark when frustrations with administration policies, communication practices and the unchanging toll of the work reach a peak.”

The survey noted differences in burnout depending on where the respondents worked. For instance, home health staff were more likely to attribute physically exhausting work and a demanding workload as their source of burnout. Meanwhile, hospice clinicians associated burnout more often with poor equipment and resources, as well as company policies. 

Burnout also seemed to affect registered nurses more than licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants. Approximately 96% of RNs polled said burnout has affeccted their overall mental health, leaving them stressed and unable to take adequate time for themselves. More than 60% of respondents who reported searching for other jobs cited burnout as the motivating reason. 

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated burnout among healthcare workers due in part to long hours, staffing shortages and a lack of personal protective equipment. Burnout also prompted some providers to leave the profession, prompting U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to warn the healthcare industry last year to adopt policies that address the health and well-being of staff. 

Although some providers have reported recent improvements in hiring and retention, a poll last week of 900 nonprofit providers nationwide found openings for RNs, LPNs and CNAs still remain the hardest positions to fill.