Health Workforce Resilience – Archive
(11/26/21) Morally Injurious Experiences and Emotions of Health Care Professionals During the COVID-19 Pandemic Before Vaccine Availability
This article published in JAMA Network Open answers to a question: How did health care workers experience moral injury during the COVID-19 pandemic before the availability of vaccines? In this study focusing on US healthcare workers, the healthcare workers expressed fear of contracting COVID-19 and spreading the infection to family and friends, stigmatization, short-staffing, and inadequate personal protective equipment. They also indicated a growing distrust and fear of patients and coworkers who hid in symptoms ultimately exposing other people, which the authors called moral injury.
(11/24/21) Even Health-care Workers With Long COVID Are Being Dismissed
Following illness with COVID-19, some health care workers are experiencing symptoms long after, a condition called Long COVID. This condition is changing the way many health care workers provide care, forcing some to leave the profession altogether.
(11/23/21) Biden Administration Spending $1.5 Billion to Increase, Diversify Health Workforce
Vice President Harris announced this week that the Biden Administration is issuing 1.5 billion in grants to increase and diversify the health workforce. The funds will support over 22,000 providers and will go to the National Health Service Corps, Nurse Corps, and several other programs.
(11/18/21) Unvaccinated, Flooded, Burned Out: How Ochsner Health Perseveres
An interview with New Orleans physician, Dr. Nigel Girgrah from Oschner Health, conducted by AMA, that discusse low impact of vaccination rates, physician burnout, Hurricane Ida and how they have effected the health workforce in New Orleans. Despite adversity and setbacks, Girgrah says that Oschner is focused on the health and well being of its workforce.
(11/12/21) The Shadow Pandemic: COVID-19’s Impact on Healthcare Workers’ Mental Health
This article explains that there has been a devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the healthcare workforce. Women under the age of 60 who worked more than 40 hours per week in this profession were more likely to have mental health symptoms, a study found. According to Steven C. Hayes, foundation professor of psychology at the University of Nevada,, the world is reaching a tipping point in terms of addressing the mental health pandemic spreading among traumatized workers.
(11/05/21) Vaccine Side Effects or a Doctor Carrying COVID?
This article, published in The Harvard Gazette, highlights recent research focusing on vaccinated employees in the Massachusetts General Brigham health system. The research utilized an electronic decision-support tool to help triage symptoms of allergic reaction or other ill effects of COVID-19 vaccination and provide advice on whether an employee should work or not, based on the feedback.
(10/27/21) US Medical Student Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A National Survey
New research published in the journal Academic Medicine evaluates results of a national survey of medical students in the United States on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical student experiences. The study found significant impacts on students, especially those who are Black and Hispanic, including limited access to physical activity, tension between personal safety and professional duty, and financial strain among the most common reported impacts.
(10/21/21) WHO and Partners Call for Action to Better Protect Health and Care Workers From COVID-19
The World Health Organization (WHO) and partners have issued an urgent plea for immediate action to better protect health care workers globally from COVID-19 and other health issues. These organizations are concerned with the high numbers of health and care workers who have died from COVID-19 and also with the increasing numbers of the workforce that are suffering from extreme burnout, stress, and fatigue.
(10/14/21) WHO Planning New Network to Connect Nurses Across the Globe
The World Health Organization is creating a virtual network where nurses and midwives can share information, knowledge, and unique ideas on a global level. As burnout and mental health concerns continue to be a major issue during the pandemic, the virtual network will also allow a space for the nurses and midwives to support one another.
(10/14/21) Biden Admin to Invest $100M to Address Health Care Worker Shortage
The Biden administration announced this week that it will invest $100 million to the National Health Service Corps to further address the health care worker shortage. The program will help primary care doctors in rural communities and low income areas that have a hard time with recruitment and retention. The announcement was made after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the United States lost 17,500 health care employees in September.
(10/14/21) STUDY: 88% of Clinical Support Staff Experiencing Significant Burnout
A Well Health study found that 88% of clinical Support staff are experiencing extreme burnout. Two-thirds of the clinical staff surveyed have contemplated quitting their jobs and 49 percent say that COVID-19 has made their jobs more difficult.
(10/07/21) COVID-19 Keeps Delivering Lessons About Health Care Workers Burnout. Will We Learn Them?
This article argues that health care leaders have a duty to protect the mental wellness of their health care work. Strategies discussed to deal with treating COVID -19 while protecting the health care worker include: speaking out in support of the vaccine, engaging frontline workers early and often, creating a culture of safety throughout healthcare.
(10/07/21) Staffing Shortages Ramp Up Recruitment Pressure on Hospitals
As the pandemic continues, staffing shortages at hospitals are increasing in the healthcare industry. The shortage of workers has effected recruitment and retention and driven up wages in hospitals, which according to a Moody’s report, will lead to declines in profit margins. One positive finding of the study is that there has been a rise in nursing school enrollment which indicates “a more robust long-term care staffing pipeline.”
(10/05/21) At Pandemic Peak, 1 in 3 Resident Doctors in NYC Experienced Burnout
Kaplan study finds that 1 in 3 Doctors in New York City experienced burnout. Results came from an electronic survey distributed during April and May 2020 to health care workers at Mount Sinai Hospital. Nearly 36 percent of the 560 respondents screened positive to “burnout.” Nearly 30 percent of the respondents screened positive to psychiatric disorder from the pandemic.
(10/04/2021) Nearly 1 in 5 Health Care Workers Have Quit Their Jobs During the Pandemic
A new Morning Consult survey that polled a 1,000 health care workers finds that nearly 20 percent of healthcare professional have quit their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. 31% of the health care workers who have kept their jobs during the pandemic have considered leaving, and 79% of health care workers have stated that the national worker shortage has affected their jobs. This is a follow-up to a survey conducted in January 2021.
(09/30/21) Health Workers Once Saluted As Heroes Now Get Threats
This article from the Associated Press highlights an increasingly pressing issue health care workers are facing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues: violence against workers. Health care workers across the United States are experiencing increases in threats, harassment, and assaults, as patients and their families, and members of the community in general, argue against the needs for masks and vaccines.
(09/22/21) Effectiveness of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine Among US Health Care Personnel
A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine looks at the impact of two mRNA vaccines for COVID-19, the Pfizer–BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, on preventing symptomatic infection among health care workers in their workplaces. This study was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and found the vaccines to be highly effective in a real-world setting, which involved health care workers working at facilities in 25 states.
(09/16/21) For Doctors Hit Hard by COVID-19 Stress, There Are Tools to Help
This article from the American Medical Association focuses on physician health given the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic over the previous year and a half. New legislation at the federal level as well as organization tools and resources seek to improve physician health and well-being and safeguard against loss of life for doctors.
(08/31/21) Practical Strategies and the Need for Psychological Support: Recommendations from Nurses Working in Hospitals During the COVID-19 Pandemic
This journal article from the Journal of Health Organization and Management provides some practical recommendations for mitigating difficulties of frontline healthcare workers based on semi-structured interviews with 36 nurses living in Canada and working in Canada or the US. The article suggests six recommendations, including clear communication of work-related policies and psychological support from trusted providers, managers and peers.
(08/19/2021) Strapped by Shortage and Hit With Departures, Nurse Corps Swamped by Another COVID Wave
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on preexisting nursing shortages and the fourth wave of COVID-19 cases has only exacerbated these issues. This article highlights the increased stress and burnout nurses have faced during the pandemic as well as the pandemic’s impact on the nursing industry.
(08/19/21) Investing in Mental Health to Support Our Workforce
This webinar from the Alliance for Health Policy’s 2021 Signature Series brings attention to the growing mental health crisis among the workforce, both in the health-sector and in general, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Four experts discuss the importance of investment in mental health and wellness opportunities for employees as well as current insights and options for employers to effectively reach their workforce.
(08/16/21) Nursing and COVID-19: The Mental Health Burden of the Pandemic for Nurses
While there has been significant focus on barriers to mental health care for physicians, this piece from Vox discusses issues with mental health among nurses, which are currently seeing high turnover and understaffing at hospitals throughout the United States. This interview with Christopher Friese, a professor of nursing at University of Michigan, seeks to better explain the implications of the mental health burden on nurses throughout the pandemic.
(08/13/21) Psychological Distress and Resilience in First Responders and Health Care Workers During the COVID‐19 Pandemic
This study published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology of the British Psychological Society compared population data taken from June and July 2020 in the United Kingdom. The researchers found that first responders and health care workers exhibited lower levels of psychological distress during lockdowns when compared to the general population, and that working in these essential fields could be protective for the mental health of workers.
(08/13/21) Leadership Communication, Stress, and Burnout Among Frontline Emergency Department Staff Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed Methods Approach
A new study published in HealthCare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation by researchers from Yale University looks at the role organizations can play in supporting health care workers and reducing their stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(08/11/21) Listen: Two Physicians, One of Whom Had a ‘Breakthrough Infection,’ on COVID-19 Among the Vaccinated
This episode of the First Opinion Podcast from STAT features a conversation between two physicians, one of which contracted a breakthrough infection of COVID-19 following their own vaccination. The other physician, Dr. Céline Gounder, is an infectious disease expert who helps to explain breakthrough infections and what they mean for health care workers.
(08/06/21) The Impact of Racism on Emergency Health Care Workers
A new study from researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine finds that systemic racism is a significant source of stress for emergency health care workers, with black participants in the study reporting higher levels of stress from racism when compared to other participants of color and white participants.
(08/02/21) Inside COVID-19’s Overlooked Toll on the Public Health Workforce
The American Medical Association released a new episode of the “AMA COVID-19 Update” that explored the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on public health workers. A new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 53% of public health workers reported symptoms of at least one mental health condition.
(07/21/21) As COVID-19 Continues, So Do Troubles for Nurses
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing nursing shortages across the nation. However, New Jersey nurse unions have expressed severe concerns as their members continue to face burnout amid steady COVID-19 related hospitalization rates. These nurse unions believe that suspended regulations which govern nurse staffing ratios and hospital scheduling contribute to these conditions
(7/7/2020) NY Health Care Workers Report Distress Related to COVID-19 Care
This article introduces a research article from General Hospital Psychiatry regarding COVID-19 related psychological distress of health care workers in New York City (NYC). The study that surveyed health workers in NYC in April 2020 reports the high rates of psychological symptoms among the responses: 37% for acute stress, 48% of depression, and 33% of anxiety. The study also reports that the most common coping behavior was physical activity and exercise (59%).
(7/6/2020) Kansas City-region ICU Nurse Talks COVID-19 Burnout As Missouri Sees Rise in Cases
This news clip summarizes interviews with a nurse caring for new COVID-19 patients at a hospital located in Kansas city, regarding burnout and fatigue during the COVID-19 pandemic. The quotes in the clip show how health workers have struggled and coped with the pandemic and the rise of the patients.
(07/01/21) Stress and Burnout Still Plague Front-line Health Care Workers As Pandemic Eases
Although much of the United States is returning to a pre-pandemic normal lifestyle, many physicians, nurses, and other health care workers are still experiencing significant stress and fatigue relating to their continued service. This article from The New York Times covers the difficulties and frustrations with health care workers as the rest of the nation seems to move on from COVID-19.
(06/30/21) Health Workforce in COVID-19 Action Series: Time to Protect. Invest. Together.
This article from the World Health Organization promotes the COVID-19 Action Series in the international Year of Health and Care Workers, emphasizing efforts to protect and invest in health care workers. These episodes are available to provide expert advice and guidance on how to improve the health workforce at an international scale.
(6/24/2021) COVID-19: Pandemic Increases PTSD, Suicidal Ideation in Health Care Workers
This article explains how front-line health care workers have been exposed to the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicidal ideation since the COVID-19 pandemic, as they have witnessed lots of their colleagues and patients died due to COVID-19. While symptoms of PTSD are not new to health care workers (e.g., data shows 16% among emergency physicians pre-pandemic), a recent survey shows that the COVID-19 pandemic would have heightened the PTSD rate to 39.3% on average for all types of health care workers and 49.5% for nonphysician health care workers.
(6/23/2021) The Doctors Are Not All Right
This article discusses the issue of physicians who committed suicide after experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the article, these physicians had no signs of mental disorders, and their stories reveal the existing gap in protecting health care workers in the health care system. For example, in the current health care system that penalizes workers whose mental health problems are disclosed, it is difficult for health care workers to open and discuss the problem. The article concludes with a couple of ongoing efforts and practical implications, such as legislation that supports suicide and burnout prevention training for health care workers.
(06/25/21) Half of Public Health Workers Experiencing Mental Health Strain: Study
A recent study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report has found that more than half of public health workers reported experiencing symptoms of mental health conditions. Symptoms were more prevalent among public health workers under the age of 29, those who spent most of their time in COVID-19 wards, and those who were unable to take time off of work.
(06/23/21) Mental Health and COVID-19: How the US Health Care System Fails Doctors
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the prevalence of mental health conditions among physicians. Although the pandemic has threatened the mental and emotional well-being of providers, physicians continue to avoid seeking mental health care for fear of losing their medical license. This article highlights the need for the implementation of improved strategies and resources for physicians to manage their mental well-being while also caring for patients.
(6/23/2021) Physician Work Hours Significantly Declined Since Start of COVID-19
This article summarizes a recent study published in JAMA Network Open that reports the gradual decline in physician work hours. According to the study, the mean weekly work hours of physicians was 50.8 in January 2019 but hit the lowest record in May 2020 at 47.5 hours per week. The study also reports that the proportion of physicians working full-time has declined from 84.2% to 80.7% after the pandemic.
(06/22/21) Silos Must Be Broken to Help Health Care Heroes Exhausted by Pandemic
The American Medical Association has joined the American Nurses Foundation, American Hospital Association, and Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare for the All In: Well-Being First for Healthcare campaign. More than 200 organizations and individuals have joined the effort to address the mental health crisis among health care workers that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
(06/21/21) Around 10% of Health Care Workers Who Had COVID-19 Experienced Long-Term Symptoms: Study
The National Institute for Health has decided to invest more than $1 billion into research for long-term COVID-19 symptoms. This news has been announced after a study found that approximately 10% of health care workers experienced long-term COVID-19 symptoms that lasted at least 8 months after exposure. Some of the reported symptoms that disrupted their work, social, or home lives include loss of taste and/or smell, fatigue, and breathing problems.
(06/18/21) Despite Improving Conditions, COVID Will ‘Scar’ a Generation of Health Care Workers
Judy Woodruff and William Brangham from PBS News discuss the impact of the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out on New York State as well as the lasting impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on health care workers. They also interview Dr. Craig Spencer, the director of global health in emergency medicine at Columbia University to gauge his perspective on the matter.
(06/15/21) Make Sure PPE Is Designed to Fit Everyone
A presentation held at the June 2021 American Medical Association (AMA) Special Meeting highlighted the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) to be designed in an inclusive manner which fits all body types. This resolution comes as research cited in the presentation found that approximately 57% of women reported that improperly fitted PPE sometimes or significantly hampered work. AMA Board Member, Willie Underwood III, MD, MSc, MPH, also cited studies that reported health care workers developing ulcers or contracting COVID-19 due to improperly fitted masks.
(06/14/21) Doctors Risked Suicide, Miscarriage on Duty, Then COVID Arrived
The risks for providers, especially women, in providing health care have been well-known since prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, however this Bloomberg Law article highlights the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated risks to providers, as well as discussing the stigma around mental health issues in physicians and potential changes to law to address these issues.
(06/09/21) Biden Administration Will Limit Mandatory COVID Workplace Safety Rules to Health Care Settings
The United States Labor Department has recently made the decision to specifically limit mandatory emergency COVID-19 workplace safety rules to the health care sector. Both unions and businesses are concerned about this pivotal change as they have anticipated a ruling that would broadly apply to all workplaces.
(06/09/21) Listen: Healing the Healers: An Advocate and a Psychiatrist on Clinicians’ Mental Health and Burnout
This First Opinion Podcast from STAT News discusses the mental health challenges that health care workers face while practicing medicine. Corey Feist, a mental health advocate and Wendy Dean, a Psychiatrist, also uncover how the recent COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these mental health challenges among health care workers.
(06/07/21) Physician Wellness After COVID-19: Steps to Getting Back to Normalcy
This article reports the mental health problems among healthcare workers. As a survey on healthcare workers from Mental Health America shows, more than 75% of the respondents reported stress, anxiety, burnout, or felt overwhelmed. Such a rampant mental health problem among healthcare workers is associated with the challenges such as developing new lifestyles, having kids at home, fighting misinformation, as well as anxiety and excessive work burden that they have faced since the beginning of the pandemic.
(06/02/21) CEO Coalition Readies to Take Action to Support Hospital Staff
The COVID-19 pandemic introduced new challenges and exacerbated existing issues in maintaining workforce safety in hospital systems. In an attempt to address these challenges, CEOs from 10 prominent hospital systems in the United States have announced the CEO Coalition’s Declaration of Principles to promote safer working environments, including emphasis on emotional and psychological safety, health justice, and physical safety of employees.
(05/25/21) Congress Needs to Pass the Dr. Lorna Breen Act to Support US Health Care Workers
This opinion piece from STAT highlights the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act which was introduced by a bipartisan group led by Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.). The purpose of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act is to prevent suicide and burnout among physicians as well as to improve the mental health of health care workers.
(05/24/21) Physicians Say COVID-19 Has Lowered Their Trust in Organizational Leadership and Healthcare at Large
This article introduces some evidence showing that physicians’ trust in the US healthcare system has declined during the COVID-19 pandemic. This tendency is associated with health insurance companies and government health agencies, while their trust in other health workers has increased.
(05/24/21) COVID-19 Infection Rate Among Dentists Remains Lower Than Other Health Professionals
A new study released by the American Dental Association finds that the rate of COVID-19 infection among dentists is lower than that of other health care professionals, and has consistently been lower throughout the pandemic. High rates of pre-appointment screening and enhanced safety procedures are credited with protecting dentists.
(05/24/21) Give Clinicians Time to Recover From the Pandemic
This article, published in the Personnel Policies section of the Harvard Business Review, advocates for an automatic policy to give clinicians working through the COVID-19 pandemic an opportunity to experience a recovery period, which could include the likes of temporary leaves of absence, relaxing workflow, reducing hours, role changes, or other changes meant to give clinicians a chance to heal some trauma.
(05/21/21) These Asian American Health Care Workers Are Fighting 2 Viruses: COVID and Hate
This article from CNN asks Asian American health care workers to discuss their experiences working through both the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the rise in targeted harassment and violence many Asian Americans are experiencing as a result of the pandemic.
(05/21/21) Interim Estimates of Vaccine Effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines Among Health Care Personnel — 33 U.S. Sites, January–March 2021
Newly published data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report finds the currently authorized mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 are highly effective in preventing symptomatic illness among health care providers. The study observed health care workers at 33 sites in 25 states.
(05/06/21) Nurse Burnout Remains a Serious Problem, Putting Patients in Danger, Experts Say
This NBC News article describes cases of nurse practitioners who recently experienced burnout or left their jobs with the frustration of lacking protective equipment from the medical center and challenging shift work during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the studies cited, the number of nurses searching for new jobs has risen four-fold during the pandemic, and about a quarter of health care workers showed signs of PTSD.
(05/04/21) Health System CEOs Form Coalition to Set New Safety Standards for U.S. Health Care Workers
The CEO Coalition has been created in an effort to set new safety standards for the nation’s health care workers. The formation of this group comes as the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the need to address systemic challenges faced by health care workers. The participants of the CEO Coalition include Johnese Spisso, president of UCLA Health and CEO of UCLA Hospital System, and nine other U.S. health system leaders. The CEO Coalition has since released a Declaration of Principles that innovatively redefined health workforce safety standards and included additional factors such as emotional and psychological well-being, health justice, and physical safety.
(05/04/21) Workforce Management Key to Nurse Mental Health, Patient Safety
A new study published in the American Journal of Critical Care has found that critical care nurses in poor physical and mental health have significantly more medical errors compared to healthier nurses. While this study was conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the strain of the pandemic has led to concerns over medical errors throughout the pandemic from these critical care nurses and other health care providers.
(05/04/21) Health Care Workers Experience Increased Insomnia During the Pandemic
This article from Pharmacy Times discusses a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, which found significant increases in insomnia disorder among health care workers following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
(05/04/21) Doctors With Long COVID-19 Share Their Struggles to Heal
This article from the Association of American Medical Colleges offers some examples of the impact of COVID-19 in the long-term on some health care providers. Long lasting COVID-19 symptoms on those who have otherwise recovered continue to be a concern for front-line health care workers.
(05/03/21) Health Care Workers Turn to Military Techniques to Deal With Trauma
This story from WBUR offers the perspective of Dr. Joshua Morganstein, the assistant director at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress in Maryland, a military veteran and researcher of trauma. Dr. Morganstein has advocated for utilizing some of the same techniques used to help active duty military personnel deal with trauma to health care workers working through the COVID-19 pandemic.
(04/29/21) COVID-19 Only Exacerbated a Longer Pattern of Health-care Worker Stress
This perspective piece from The Washington Post offers a view on the history of stress for health care workers, primarily physicians in hospital settings, both in the United States and the United Kingdom. While long hours and stress of constant emergencies have long been difficult issues in the field, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of the issues.
(04/28/21) NMSU Study: COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Health Care Workers Remains a Concern
This article covers a new study from New Mexico State University on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among health care workers throughout the world. The summarizing study found that more than one-fifth of health care workers involved in studies from more than a dozen countries were hesitant to be vaccinated. Male workers, older workers, and workers with doctoral or postgraduate education were most likely to accept vaccination.
(04/23/21) FDA Says Health Care Workers Should Stop Reusing N95 Masks
Health professionals were previously directed to properly clean, recycle, and reuse N95 masks in efforts to combat the shortage of personal protective equipment early in the pandemic. The Food and Drug Administration has since issued a statement that directs health care facilities and health care workers to transition back to the single use of N95 masks as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention believes there is now an adequate supply of N95 masks in the country. The recommendation is contingent on the assumption that facilities have access to and can confirm that they have a sufficient supply of N95 masks.
(04/22/21) Burned Out by the Pandemic, 3 in 10 Health-care Workers Consider Leaving the Profession
An article from The Washington Post covering issues with experienced health care providers leaving the profession as a result of COVID-19 pandemic-related burnout and trauma. Recent surveys have found many providers have considered retiring from medical practice in the past 12 months, with dissatisfaction with the response to the pandemic being a major factor.
(04/14/21) The Staggering Toll of COVID-19 on Health Care Workers
According to a report by The Guardian and Kaiser Health News, 3600 American health care workers have died in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The investigation called Lost on the Frontline, which started in April 2020, is ending this month.
(04/13/21) Sources of Healthcare Workers’ COVID-19 Infections and Related Safety Guidelines
This cross-sectional prospective research study assessed the effectiveness of workplace safety guidelines among health care workers. The study analyzed work-related exposure to COVID-19 and the source of infection along with the use of personal protective equipment. The study concluded that there was a high infection rate among health care workers even while following safety guidelines.
(04/08/21) Twelve Months of Trauma: More Than 3,600 US Health Workers Died in COVID’s First Year
The Lost on the Frontline project from Kaiser Health News and The Guardian has found more than 3,600 health care workers died during the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The investigation found that two-thirds of health care providers who died from COVID-19 were people of color, and often were lower-paid workers in roles such as support staff or nursing home workers.
(04/05/21) COVID-19 One Year Later: The Pandemic’s Impact on Physician Mental Health
Medical Economics interviews a doctor who is an expert on physician mental health. He states that the pandemic has not only had a huge effect on patients, but also on physician mental health.
(03/29/21) Six Principles to Ensure Clinician Well-being: Lessons From COVID-19’s Darkest Days for a New Way of Working
This Health Affairs article examines 6 principles to ensure clinician well-being post the COVID-19 pandemic including: agility and responsiveness, a supportive culture, transparent communication, connection to meaningful work, supportive systems of working, and promotion of equity.
(03/22/21) Time to Prioritize the Mental Health of Our Frontline Health Care Heroes
Frontline health care workers have endured a significant amount of stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health officials and lawmakers are prioritizing the mental health of health care professionals in a new bill that provides strategies for reducing the stigma of seeking mental health care and reducing burnout. The bill also proposes to provide support for employers to effectively address the mental health needs of frontline workers.
(03/18/21) Executives Rate Provider Burnout As a Disrupting Force in Healthcare
A recent survey has found health care executives rating burnout for providers as one of the most potentially disrupting forces for hospitals and health systems. Burnout, disengagement, and shortages related to these issues were found to be significant concerns beyond loss of revenue for the health sector.
(03/15/21) Addiction and Behavioral Health Care Workers Should Have Access to COVID-19 Testing and Vaccines
This opinion piece from STAT News describes the need for addiction and behavioral health care workers to gain access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly increased the demand for mental health services, these essential health care workers have struggled to obtain PPE and have been excluded from the priority list for the COVID-19 vaccination.
(03/11/21) Healthcare Workers More Likely to get COVID-19 Antibodies in Community Than on Job, Study Suggests
This article from Becker’s Hospital Review highlights a study published on the JAMA Network Open that assessed seropositivity among health care workers. The study suggests that health care workers were more likely to test positive for COVID-19 antibodies due to community exposure rather than exposure in the workplace.
(03/11/21) Prevalence of Depression, Anxiety and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Health Care Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
A new study published in PLOS One finds that the long hours and stress from the pandemic have led to significant levels of depression and anxiety relating to COVID-19. This study was global in its reach and analyzed 65 studies from across the world for trends in health care worker mental health.
(03/10/21) Risk Factors Associated With SARS-CoV-2 Seropositivity Among US Health Care Personnel
This study published in JAMA identifies key risk factors associated with COVID-19 infection resulting in illness for health care providers in the United States. The study found that community exposure was associated with increased risk of infection, however workplace factors such as role, environment, and patient contact were not associated with increased risk of infection, meaning workplace protocols may be proving effective at minimizing risk of exposure to workers.
(03/03/21) Los Angeles County Finds Fewer Cases Among Health Care Workers as More Get Vaccinated
Just months from the first vaccinations, new infections of COVID-19 among health care workers have fallen dramatically in Los Angeles county. Long-term care facilities previously made up a quarter of all cases and have dropped substantially, a trend noticed nationwide among health care workers.
(02/24/21) Death, Through a Nurse’s Eyes
This video published in the Opinion section of The New York Times follows two nurses in an intensive care unit in Phoenix, Arizona to give perspective on working with the patients most sick with COVID-19, a year into the pandemic. While vaccinations are easing the pressure on nurses and other health care workers, trauma and grief are still widespread and will likely have lasting negative impacts.
(02/19/21) Feds OK’d Export of Millions of N95 Masks as U.S. Workers Cried for More
During a national shortage of N95 masks, the US government made an exception to an export ban on protective gear, allowing for the export of nearly 5 million masks per month. According to a FEMA letter obtained by KHN, FEMA issued a waiver to the protective gear ban near the end of Trump’s administration.
(02/17/21) Prominent Scientists Call on CDC to Better Protect Workers From COVID
This article from Kaiser Health News highlights key discussion points in a letter sent to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention by a group of research academics in an effort to help decrease the spread of the virus. Some high-profile signers include Rick Bright, an American immunologist; Michael Osterholm, an adviser to the Biden transition team; and Virginia Tech aerosol scientist Linsey Marr. The letter criticizes current guidelines and insists that more workers including EMTs, paramedics, and emergency room staff need access to top-rated N95 masks.
(02/16/21) An Urgent Mental Health Crisis: Health Workers Facing Immense Psychological Toll From Pandemic
This news article discusses some examples of the trauma experienced by front-line health care workers working through the pandemic. Experts believe many health care workers will experience trauma from their experiences throughout the pandemic beyond the end of the pandemic.
(02/14/21) Hospitals Face Severe Shortages as Pandemic Grinds Forward
This article discusses the challenges that hospitals are facing due to severe shortages in crucial medical supplies.
(02/09/21) NJ to Track Impact of the Pandemic on Medical Community Under New Greenstein Law
This article discusses a new law written by Senator Linda Greenstein. This law now requires health care facilities to report the number of health professionals who test positive for COVID-19 in an effort to understand the impact of the pandemic on the medical community.
(02/05/21) Workers With COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects Deserve Time Off to Recover
This Health Affairs article advocates for health care workers with COVID-19 vaccine side effects to receive time off without having to use sick time.
(02/03/2021) Joint Commission: Burned Out Healthcare Workers Need a Lifeline
The Joint Commission, a major health care advisory organization, have found significant burdens to health care workers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prime examples included in their new report includes fear of getting sick, fear of bringing the virus home to families, and staffing shortages as major points of burden for health care workers.
(02/02/21) Frontline Nurses Talk with Psychologists in New Podcast on Coping with COVID-19 Related Trauma
This article discusses the mental stress and burnout that nurses are facing during the pandemic. The article highlights a podcast that was created to deliver advice, self-care tips, and strategies for overwhelmed nurses and health care workers.
(02/02/2021) Research Shows COVID-19 Community Exposure and Black Race as Greatest Risk Factors for Positive Antibody Tests in Health Care Workers
New research from Emory University finds that the largest risk to health care workers is not workplace exposure, but community exposure. Data from the study supports that personal protective equipment and safety protocols in the workplace are effective to protect health care workers.
(01/25/21) COVID-19 Surge Leaves Doctors, Nurses Reeling From Burnout
This Wall Street Journal article examines the effect the recent COVID-19 surge is having on health workers, leading to physical exhaustion and severe burnout.
(01/24/21) How We Can Keep Health Care Workers Safe
This CNN article examines the importance of keeping the health workforce safe during the pandemic and suggests 4 tasks that must be implemented in the next 5 years: infection prevention control, health workforce training, socioeconomic legal support, and constant monitoring to continuously make improvements.
(01/21/21) Program Prescribes Music Lessons to COVID-19 Health Care Workers
This article provides an overview of The Boston Music Teaching Project which enables COVID-19 health care workers to have private music lessons with music teachers in order to give them a bit of a respite from the stress of the pandemic.
(01/15/21) Geography Is Destiny: Dentists’ Access to COVID Shots Depends on Where They Live
Dentists are experiencing difficulty being vaccinated for COVID-19, according to this article from Kaiser Health News. In some states, dentists are lower on the priority list for receiving vaccines than other health care workers, even though dental work remains high risk for exposure to COVID-19.
(01/13/21) Therapists Donate Their Time to Counsel Distressed Health Care Workers
This article published in the Medical News & Perspectives section of JAMA discusses how therapists are donating time to help health care workers who are distressed following the high rates of death and severe illness experienced treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(01/10/21) At Elite Medical Centers, Even Workers Who Don’t Qualify Are Vaccinated
Nonclinical workers are being vaccinated at medical centers across the United States, even as front-line staff at many hospitals are still not vaccinated. Younger, healthy graduate students and health care administrators are reportedly receiving the vaccine ahead of older, patient-facing essential workers.
(01/10/21) Despite Having Intimate Knowledge of the Pain and Death Caused by the Coronavirus, a Surprising Number of US Healthcare Workers Are Refusing to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine
An article from Business Insider discussing the issue of health care workers in the United States who are declining to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Recent reporting has found as many as 80% of staff in some facilities are rejecting the vaccine, causing concern about the increased risk of the virus to health care providers and their patients.
(01/06/21) Lost on the Frontline: Explore the Database
The joint investigation from Kaiser Health News and The Guardian has identified at least 3,142 health care workers who have reportedly died of COVID-19 contracted while working. Their interactive database continues to be updated and verified for accuracy.
(01/05/21) COVID ‘Decimated Our Staff’ as the Pandemic Ravages Health Workers of Color
This article featured in Kaiser Health News covers the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had not only on Black and Latino patients but also the Black and Latino health care workers who treat these communities.
(01/05/21) Some Health Care Workers Say They Are ‘Forgotten’ in COVID-19 Vaccination Plans
Health care workers who work for staffing agencies are reporting inability to be vaccinated for COVID-19, even as they work across multiple facilities. Private medical practices are also reporting they are unable to secure vaccines for their providers due to lack of hospital affiliation.
(01/04/21) ‘Still Waiting for My Turn’: Primary Care Doctors Are Being Left Behind in The Vaccine Rollout
Primary care providers who are not affiliated with hospital systems are struggling to acquire vaccines, even as they treat patients infected with COVID-19. A recent survey found that more than three-quarters of primary care clinicians are unsure where or when they will be able to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
(01/04/21) 44 Kaiser Hospital Staff Members Infected in COVID-19 Outbreak, 1 Worker Dies
An outbreak of COVID-19 among staff members at the Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center in California has resulted in at least one death thus far. Officials believe a holiday-themed inflatable costume may be linked to accidental spread of the virus among staff.
(01/03/20) Large Numbers of Health Care and Frontline Workers are Refusing COVID-19 Vaccine
Many health care workers throughout the United States are reportedly declining to be vaccinated for COVID-19, with some places reporting more than 50% of workers refusing. Although currently not required in most States and federally, there is a chance vaccination will be mandated if sufficient numbers of vaccinations to prevent further outbreaks of COVID-19 do not occur.
(12/24/20) ‘It’s So Much Worse Than Before.’ Dread and Despair Haunt Nurses Inside LA’s ICUs
This story from NPR discusses how pandemic-related stress and burnout have led to some nurses leaving intensive care units and seeking work elsewhere. As health care workers leave the workforce, which already faces staffing shortages, the stress becomes more difficult for those that remain.
(12/23/20) Revealed: Guardian/KHN Find Nearly 3,000 US Health Workers Died of COVID
This article discusses new analysis by The Guardian and Kaiser Health News, finding the number of health care professional deaths from COVID-19 in the United States is approaching 3,000 people. The federal government currently does not have a system to track health care worker deaths across the nation.
(12/23/20) As the Terror of COVID Struck, Health Care Workers Struggled to Survive. Thousands Lost the Fight
This joint article from Kaiser Health News and The Guardian takes a look back at the toll the pandemic has taken in lives of health care workers from the beginning in April to the end of this year. New analysis finds many of those who died were minorities, skewed younger than the population at large, and had the highest levels of patient contact.
(12/21/20) A ‘Duty to Warn’: An ER Doctor, Shaped by War and Hardship, Chronicles the Searing Realities of COVID-19
This piece from STAT offers some perspective on the COVID-19 pandemic as detailed by an emergency room physician and combat veteran. The physician, Dr. Cleavon Gilman, has treated COVID-19-hospitalized patients for 10 months continuously, first volunteering in New York City in April, and has lost colleagues and mentors to both illness and suicide.
(12/21/20) US Healthcare Workers Protest Chaos in Hospitals’ Vaccine Rollout
Health care providers at multiple hospital systems throughout the United States are expressing frustration and protesting current vaccine distribution plans. Some hospitals have blamed poorly-functioning technology as a reason providers are unable to book appointments or have been overlooked for priority.
(12/19/20) As the Pandemic Rages, Demoralization Deflates Health Care Workers
This opinion piece published in STAT discusses some of the impacts of “moral injuries” to health care workers caused by the sustained surges in hospitalizations and other difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic. Conflicting experiences within their field and the general public are causing some workers increased stress and potentially driving them to leave health care.
(12/18/20) Hospitals Grow Tense Over Who Gets Vaccinated, How It’s Decided
As hospitals make decisions regarding vaccine prioritization, some have come under fire for prioritizing high-ranking providers who do not typically treat patients over providers working directly with patients.
(12/17/20) Some Health Care Workers Are Getting the Vaccine. Others Aren’t. Who Decides?
Health care workers across the United States are waiting for information on when they will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. With broad federal guidance, many states and hospital systems themselves have set more specific protocols, however smaller clinics and emergency responders are worried they will be forgotten.
(12/17/20) VA Health Care Workers Feeling Pandemic Burnout: ‘We Don’t See the Light at the End of the Tunnel’
This article from Federal News Network discusses frustration and burnout among health care providers at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Health care workers across the nation are leaving their positions amid sustained difficulties throughout the pandemic.
(12/16/20) Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic by Caring for Our Health Care Workforce As They Care for Our Patients
This research article published in the New England Journal of Medicine highlights the innovations and prioritizations made by Stanford Medicine in their earliest response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stanford Medicine made effective use of an Occupational Health Team to reduce workforce transmission of the virus, and offers multiple suggestions for improving workforce safety.
(12/15/20) Nursing, Doctor and Hospital Groups Urge Health Workers to Take COVID-19 Vaccine
National groups representing nurses, doctors, and hospitals are urging all health care providers to get vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible. The American Nurses Association, American Medical Association, and American Hospital Association are seeking to overcome opposition to a vaccine and help protect doctors, nurses, and patients.
(12/14/20) Hospitals Prepare to Vaccinate Workers: 6 Things to Know
This update from Becker’s Hospital Review covers the mass distribution and vaccination efforts for the first approved vaccine for COVID-19 in the United States. Long-term care facilities and hospitals prepare to vaccinate their highest risk staff and patients in an effort to bring an end to the pandemic.
(12/14/20) COVID ‘D-Day’: ICU Nurse in New York Among First in Country to Receive Vaccination
The first health care worker in the United States has received the first approved vaccine for COVID-19. This vaccination marks the beginning of the largest vaccination campaign in the history of the country.
(12/14/20) Hospitals Scramble to Prioritize COVID Vaccine for Their Workers. Who Gets Them First?
Although a vaccine for COVID-19 has been approved for use in the United States, the limited supply of the vaccine means hospitals and states have needed to set priorities for administration. These priorities often include those at highest risk, such as elderly individuals or those who treat the sickest patients with COVID-19..
(12/10/20) Health Care Professionals Can Decline COVID-19 Vaccine — for Now
Some health care professionals are concerned with the leading COVID-19 vaccines, with some surveys showing as many as one-third of nurses stating they would refuse to take a vaccine. This article discusses the history of mandatory vaccination and discusses how health care providers will be allowed to refuse the vaccine, at least for the time being.
(12/09/20) Keeping Transport, Environmental Services Staff Safe: 14 COVID-19 Strategies From Northwell Health
This article from Becker’s Hospital Review offers tips from Northwell Health, a major hospital system in New York, about protecting staff involved in patient transport and cleaning patients rooms from being infected with COVID-19.
(12/07/20) Think Health Care Workers Are Tested Often for the Coronavirus? Think Again
This article from NPR covers how many health care workers have not been tested for COVID-19 often, if at all, throughout the pandemic. Some providers find it difficult to see athletes and non-essential individuals find ease in testing while health care workers are often not tested at all.
(12/06/20) States Become Worker Safety Watchdogs As Pandemic Worsens
While typically worker protection laws are a federal manner, 14 states have taken charge of monitoring workplaces for worker safety issues in the COVID-19 pandemic. Some view the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration as being too lax on COVID-19-related issues in the workplace.
(12/01/20) Health Care Workers, Nursing Home Residents to Be Prioritized for COVID-19 Vaccine
This article from NPR covers the vote from a federal advisory committee at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that authorized the first doses of COVID-19 vaccination to go to health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.
(12/01/20) The PPE Crisis Didn’t Go Away: Across the US, Grassroots Supply Networks Are Trying to Fill the Void
This article from STAT highlights the continued struggles smaller health clinics across the United States are experiencing to acquire personal protective equipment. Large hospitals and health care systems are better able to find supply lines, leaving smaller facilities at significant disadvantage.
(11/30/20) OSHA Let Employers Decide Whether to Report Health Care Worker Deaths. Many Didn’t.
Analysis of health care worker deaths in the Lost on the Frontline series from Kaiser Health News and The Guardian found that more than one-third of a 240-person sample of health care workers who died of COVID-19 did not have their deaths reported to a state or federal agency by their employers. Employers are required to report these worker deaths to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, yet some employers claimed they could not prove COVID-19 infection occurred in the workplace and did not report the deaths.
(11/26/20) Amid COVID-19 Surge, Health Workers and Families Do Their Thanksgiving Best
This article covers the lengths health care workers and their families are going to maintain their health and wellbeing during Thanksgiving, as cases and hospitalizations of COVID-19 surge throughout the country.
(11/25/20) COVID-19 Has Claimed the Lives of 100,000 Long-Term Care Residents and Staff
This article from the Kaiser Family Foundation reports a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic for long-term care: more than 100,000 residents and staff from long-term care facilities have died of COVID-19.
(11/25/20) COVID Combat Fatigue: ‘I Would Come Home With Tears in My Eyes’
This piece in The New York Times covers the personal, lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health care workers who have been treating COVID-19 patients for months. Frontline health care workers live in constant fear of bringing the illness to their families at home, while experiencing the fatigue of unending demand for intensive care units.
(11/25/20) Beyond Burnout: This Surge of COVID-19 is Bringing Burnover
As a third wave of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations is becoming apparent, health care workers are showing symptoms of sustained burnout, enough to be called “burnover” in this article. Health care workers across the United States are retiring earlier than anticipated, with health care workers struggling to continue in the pandemic.
(11/25/20) GMU’s COVID-19 Research Targets Frontline Health-care Workers
A pilot research program from George Mason University is focused on allowing health care workers who have been exposed to COVID-19 to return to work as quickly as possible. The program seeks to help create feelings of safety in the workplace and help frontline workers deal with pandemic-related stress and anxiety from the workplace.
(11/24/20) Factors That Shape Notification of Health Care Outbreaks of COVID-19
This blog post from Health Affairs covers the factors involved in notifying patients, health care workers, and the public about outbreaks of health care-associated infection of COVID-19. There lacks widely established standards on how to report these types of outbreaks.
(11/24/20) As COVID-19 Cases Surge, Health Care Workers Say PPE Is Still a Struggle
While the United States has been compiling personal protective equipment in the Strategic National Stockpile, health care workers across the country continue to report needing to reuse personal protective equipment and difficulty replenishing their stocks.
(11/24/20) COVID-19 Is Taking a Devastating Toll on Filipino American Nurses
This article covers the immense toll of COVID-19 deaths on nurses in the United States of Filipino descent, which make up 4% of the nursing population nationwide yet account for nearly one-third of nursing deaths from COVID-19.
(11/24/20) Some Health Care Workers Are Wary of Getting COVID-19 Vaccines
Most states have made plans to prioritize frontline health care workers for COVID-19 vaccination, however some of these providers have voiced concern over the safety and effectiveness of any COVID-19 vaccine. This article covers how the politicization and speed of the vaccine development process have impacted trust of health care workers.
(11/20/20) These Front-line Workers Could Have Retired. They Risked Their Lives Instead.
Part of the series Lost on the Frontline from Kaiser Health News and The Guardian, this article focuses on the lives of some of the health care workers who chose to continue treating patients in spite of nearing retirement, ultimately dying from COVID-19.
(11/18/20) A Nurse’s Plea: ‘I Wish That I Could Get People To See COVID Through My Eyes’
This story from NPR features some perspective from nurses treating patients with COVID-19 who feel there is a significant disconnect between the risk of infection and the behaviors of those in their communities. As hospitals fill to maximum capacity, challenges include meeting the needs of their patients while avoiding infection themselves.
(11/16/20) Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Previously Undiagnosed Health Care Workers in New Jersey, at the Onset of the US COVID-19 Pandemic
A new study conducted by researchers at Rutgers and affiliated hospitals in the journal BMC Infectious Disease has found that health care workers are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 than non-health care workers, with nurses having the highest risk, especially in hospital settings.
(11/16/20) New MN Fund Will Help Families of Front-line Workers Killed by COVID
The newly launched Frontline Families Fund seeks to support families of the more than 1,400 health care workers who have died from COVID-19. The first phase of grants seeks to help fund the costs associated with the death of the worker, and a future phase of grants will be delivered on the basis of need to cover scholarships and other financial needs.
(11/13/20) ‘No One Is Listening to Us’
An article covering the impact of treating patients on health care workers across the United States. While hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics throughout the country continue to struggle to meet staffing needs and maintain personal protective equipment, health care workers feel their suffering is not being met with precautions by the general populace.
(11/12/20) North Dakota Nurses Call for Mask Mandate, Reject Policy Allowing COVID-19-positive Workers to Stay on Job
The North Dakota Nurses Association calling for a statewide mask mandate and criticizing the new policy implemented to allow asymptomatic COVID-19-positive health care providers to continue working in spite of their infection. North Dakota is currently implementing these regulations in line with the “crisis” guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
(11/11/20) COVID-19 Risks and Impacts Among Health Care Workers by Race/Ethnicity
This issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation analyzes the risks and impacts of COVID-19 on health care workers based on their race/ethnicity. Forty percent of health care workers are non-white in the United States, and people of color make up the majority of deaths among health care workers.
(11/06/20) ‘Suffocating’: Doctors Describe COVID-19 Challenges Faced by Indiana’s Healthcare Workers
This article highlights a recent COVID-19 update from both Indiana’s Governor and State Health Commissioner. The update focused on the burden COVID-19 is placing on the health workforce, with front-line health care workers reportedly experiencing burnout and staffing shortages.
(11/05/20) First COVID-19 Vaccine Doses to Go To Health Workers, Say CDC Advisers
A committee head for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that health care workers will be prioritized to receive the first doses of any effective COVID-19 vaccine. The order in which health care providers are granted access to an approved vaccine will depend on the approval process from the Food and Drug Administration itself.
(10/30/20) State Mask Stockpiling Orders Are Hurting Nursing Homes, Small Clinics
This article, jointly published by NBC News and Kaiser Health News, describes the difficulties experienced by nursing homes, small physician offices, and rural health clinics to acquire supplies of personal protective equipment. While states are mandating stockpiles, wealthier clinics can place larger orders, disincentivizing manufacturers of personal protective equipment from taking small orders.
(10/22/20) Stories of COVID-19: Caring for the Caregivers
A personal essay published by Health Affairs as part of the “Stories of COVID-19” series, this time coming from a hospitalist who treats patients diagnosed with COVID-19. This essay discusses the trauma experienced by those treating patients during the pandemic and the need to address the care of physicians and other health care providers before the end of the pandemic, as burnout and mental health issues plague these professionals.
(10/21/20) Effects of Universal Masking on Massachusetts Healthcare Workers’ COVID-19 Incidence
A new study conducted by researchers from the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health found significant benefits from universal masking in preventing spread of COVID-19 infection within health care workplaces. The researchers recommend universal masking policies in all health care settings as well as indoor businesses where distancing and ventilation may leave people vulnerable.
(10/16/20) Hospitals Must Do More to Protect Their Workers From COVID-19
This opinion piece featured in STAT is authored by three physicians who live together and treat patients with COVID-19. The physicians discuss how federal guidelines do not come with funding to help hospitals with implementation and often are ineffective with the patient population. The authors suggest rapid testing would be an essential response to protect health care workers.
(10/13/20) Cleveland’s University Hospitals Offering Sleep Pods for Front-line COVID-19 Workers
In order to address the stress placed on front-line health care workers by the COVID-19 pandemic, the University Hospitals system in Cleveland, Ohio, has developed sleep pods that workers can check out for up to 4-hour time intervals.
(09/17/20) Our Sister’s Suicide Shows the Need for Mental Health Care Among Emergency Physicians
This opinion piece from the family of an emergency physician who died by suicide after treating patients with COVID-19. Emergency physicians experienced some of the highest rates of burnout prior to the pandemic, and there are fears that the culture of emergency medicine discourages asking for help and potentially puts the lives of physicians at risk.
(09/10/20) How to Create Clinician Resilience: 3 Experts Weigh in
An interview with three experts from Becker’s Clinical Leadership Virtual Forum addressing employee stress, fatigue, and exhaustion from the COVID-19 pandemic. Treating physician well being as important, allowing clinicians to fail and helping them back up, and allowing employees to lead mindfulness programs are all suggestions for creating clinician resilience.
(09/10/20) Mortality Rates From COVID-19 Are Lower in Unionized Nursing Homes
A new research article published in the Health Affairs journal which found that nursing homes in New York State with health care worker unions present had significantly reduced mortality from COVID-19 compared to those without union presence. Union presence was also related to increased access to personal protective equipment, which may be connected to the decrease in mortality.
(09/10/20) Some Hospitals Fail to Set COVID-19 Patients Apart, Putting Others at Risk
This story from NPR highlights some of the struggles hospitals are experiencing in protecting the health workforce from COVID-19 infection. Inadequate personal protective equipment and preparations to maintain patient separation are compounding an already difficult situation.
(09/10/20) Best Practices for Handling Staff Emotional Health During the Pandemic: 3 Healthcare Leaders Weigh in
An interview with three experts from Becker’s Clinical Leadership Virtual Forum describing best practices for addressing the emotional health of the health care workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. Communication and providing resiliency programs are both major suggestions to maintain morale amongst staff.
(09/09/20) Lost on the Frontline: US Healthcare Workers Who Died Fighting COVID-19
A partnership between Kaiser Health News and The Guardian has released a new, interactive database of health care workers verified to have died of COVID-19.
(09/02/20) 42% of Nurses Have Run Out of PPE & 4 Other Survey Findings
A survey from the American Nurses Association has found a number of safety concerns among nurses treating patients with COVID-19. Nurses are being forced to reuse personal protective equipment, which are on short supply, causing fear and uncertainty.
(08/26/20) Over 1,000 US Health Workers Died of COVID-19. Many Were Immigrants and Minorities
Continuing their Lost on the Frontline series, Kaiser Health News and The Guardian published this piece highlighting the deaths of over 1,000 health care workers in the United States from COVID-19 infection. Many of those who died were immigrants and minorities.
(08/26/20) Mindfulness Eases Stress, Anxiety Among Healthcare Providers
An article discussing new research published in JAMA which found that mindfulness programs can decrease anxiety and stress in health care providers. While the authors found this to be desirable, they noted that there were no significant improvements in symptoms of burnout, a major cause for concern among providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(08/22/20) As Pandemic Persists, Health Care Heroes Beginning to Crack Under the Strain
Another article covering the impact the pandemic is having on health care workers, with increasing concern about the burden of non-stop COVID focus and potential for burnout. There is also concern for health care providers of Latinx backgrounds, who are increasingly seeing their own communities experience more severe impacts of COVID-19 than others.
(08/21/20) New Care Cube Reduces COVID-19 Infection for Health Care Workers
This story from public radio station WBUR in Boston discusses the innovative new “Care Cube” developed to allow patients infected with COVID-19 to be visited by healthy individuals and treated by their health care providers with less risk.
(08/19/20) 15 Steps to Navigate Crises and Promote Physician Well-being
The American Medical Association has released a 15 step protocol to address and improve physician wellbeing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Association has also released free surveys for organizations to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on their organization.
(08/17/20) PPE Shortage Could Last Years Without Strategic Plan, Experts Warn
An article discussing expert opinion on the potential for a years-long crisis in personal protective equipment shortages without strategic government intervention. Logistical challenges meeting demands for personal protective equipment are leading to rolling shortages in clinics across the United States, with manufacturers hesitant to commit to expanding production without long-term government contracts.
(08/13/20) Lives Cut Short: Remembering Health Care Workers in Their 20s Killed by COVID-19
An article featured on NPR discussing the realities of the risks health care workers face to continue providing care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. While the risk of COVID-19 is highest in the elderly, many workers early in their careers have succumbed to the disease.
(08/13/20) US Hospitals Pressure Healthcare Staff to Work Even if They Have COVID Symptoms
A joint investigation from The Guardian and Kaiser Health News has found that many health care workers were either forced to or encouraged to return to work while experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, potentially putting themselves and their colleagues at risk.
(07/31/20) Risk of COVID-19 Among Front-line Health-care Workers and the General Community: A Prospective Cohort Study
A new study of health care workers in the United Kingdom and the United States found higher risk of COVID-19 infection among health care workers when compared to the general public. The study also found that black, asian, and other minority ethnicity health care workers were at least five times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 when compared to non-Hispanic white individuals, and that reuse of personal protective equipment is related to increased risk of infection.
(07/30/20) 7 Ways to Address Physicians’ Pandemic Stress
An article released by the American Medical Association discussing strategies to address the stress many physicians are feeling as they continue in their roles as front-line health care workers treating COVID-19 patients.
(07/28/20) UW Study Looks at New Protections for Frontline Health Care Workers During COVID-19; Recruitment Open Now
A research team at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has announced a study to evaluate the effectiveness of antiseptic agents to protect frontline health care workers treating patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection.
(07/24/20) Florida Health Care Workers Feeling Strain of Coronavirus Surge
An article providing some updates on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic involving Florida’s health workforce. Workers are complaining of shortages of personal protective equipment and relaxed restrictions in their communities allowing for surges in cases, putting health care professionals at increased risk.
(07/24/20) A Pandemic Ethical Conundrum: Must Health Care Workers Risk Their Lives to Treat COVID-19 Patients?
A philosophical take on the obligation of health care workers to put their lives at risk to treat patients infected with COVID-19. Some medical associations in the United States have issued statements supporting the possibility for health care providers to opt out of treating patients if the risk is deemed too great.
(07/23/20) Monitoring Approaches for Health-care Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
This scientific article published in The Lancet covers some effective and proposed methods for monitoring infection of health care workers with COVID-19. Depending on which phase of the pandemic being experienced in an area, the infections may not be coming from patients seeking treatment.
(07/20/20) How a Pandemic Affects the Mental Health of the Nursing Workforce
A research article published in Nursing Times discussing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of the nursing workforce in the United Kingdom. The concluding points include improving the focus on welfare of nursing staff, offering them protective equipment and social distancing, and reassuring nurses of their value and importance in interdisciplinary teams.
(07/20/20) COVID-19 is Pushing Doctors to the Brink. Medicine Needs to Recognize They’re Human and Need Help.
An opinion piece from an emergency physician discussing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of health care providers. Current norms encourage these providers to work through their struggles, and now the pandemic is exacerbating these issues.
(07/16/20) How NYC Health + Hospitals Protected its Workforce in the Face of Shortage
Another blog post published in Health Affairs reviewing the ways in which the largest public health care system in the United States, New York City Health + Hospitals, addressed issues in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through finding new supply lines and effective training, NYC Health + Hospitals was effective in protecting their workforce amidst shortage and crisis.
(07/14/20) Association Between Universal Masking and SARS-CoV-2 Positivity Among Health Care Workers
A research letter published in JAMA discussing an investigation at the Mass General Brigham health system about a universal masking policy put into place in March to address the COVID-19 pandemic. This masking policy appears to be related to a significant reduction in infection with COVID-19 of their health care workers.
(07/10/20) COVID-19 Creates Vicarious Trauma Among Healthcare Workforce
An interview with Ellen Fink-Samnick, a transdisciplinary health workforce expert, discussing the ways in which the health workforce experiences trauma through working together and through treating patients, as well as discussing strategies to reduce trauma and improve the quality of life of health care providers amidst the pandemic.
(07/10/20) Health Care Workers in Crisis—Efforts Toward Normalizing a Sustainable Workplace Culture
A blog post reviewing some studies into post-traumatic stress disorder and depression rates in health care workers treating COVID-19 patients. The post also covers stigmas surrounding seeking treatment for these issues, which is putting the safety of the workforce in jeopardy.
(07/07/20) Healthcare Workers Fear a Return to PPE Shortages as Coronavirus Caseloads Climb
An article covering the fears expressed by health care providers across the country about a potential lack of personal protective equipment as COVID-19 infections surge. Among the potential solutions proposed include developing a coordinated national effort to buy and supply personal protective equipment for the health workforce.
(07/06/20) Providers in Early Hot Spots Rest and Prepare for What’s Next
This article discusses some of the ways in which health care organizations can support workers as COVID-19 cases are on the rise. Among the most impactful wellness supports offered is vacation, giving health care workers time away from work to recover from the stress of the pandemic thus far.
(06/30/20) Health Workers Filed More Than 4,000 Complaints About Protective Gear. Some Still Died
An investigation from The Guardian has found many complaints about lack of personal protective equipment sent by health care workers have been cleared, even as some of the workers have died.
(06/29/20) Health Care Workers Renew Call for Hazard Pay as COVID-19 Cases Rise
As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise throughout the United States, health care workers in Wisconsin are calling for hazard pay. Current proposals for improving the compensation to health care workers include increasing pay and offering paid time off for health care workers who contract COVID-19.
(06/29/20) Health Care Workers Renew Call for Hazard Pay as COVID-19 Cases Rise
As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise throughout the United States, health care workers in Wisconsin are calling for hazard pay. Current proposals for improving the compensation to health care workers include increasing pay and offering paid time off for health care workers who contract COVID-19.
(06/29/20) Caregivers on the Front Lines in Nursing Homes Risk Health, Safety During Pandemic
An article covering the difficulties many long-term care facilities are experiencing protecting their workers and patients amidst the COVID-19 crisis. High turnover, low pay, little or no paid sick leave or health insurance, and lack of adequate personal protective equipment have put many workers in long-term care facilities at risk.
(06/27/20) ‘I Still Have Nightmares Every Night’ — Health Workers Struggle With PTSD Symptoms as Coronavirus Takes Toll
This article covers the impact on mental health many health care workers are experiencing as a result of working through the COVID-19 pandemic. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and suicide have been linked to health professionals addressing the pandemic, and finding ways to get help for workers is a challenge.
(06/23/20) US Nurses at For-profit Hospital Chain to Strike Over Cuts and PPE Shortages
Nurses working for a for-profit hospital system with locations in multiple states are striking, citing violations of mandatory nurse-to-patient ratios due to understaffing and a lack of personal protective equipment for workers. These nurses are also complaining of pay cuts and violations of their contracts.
(06/19/20) Health Care Workers Protect Us. It’s Time to Protect Them.
An article from the Harvard Business Review discussing the importance of protecting health care workers while they treat patients infected with COVID-19. The authors offer suggestions for how organizations can better protect and empower their health workforce, including focusing on reducing workplace injuries, promoting staff safety, and creating a process for accountability for safety.
(06/19/20) Account for Gender/Sex to Make Personal Protective Equipment Safer for Women
An article advocating for development of personal protective equipment to better protect women from COVID-19 infection. Differences in physical characteristics of the sexes can contribute to decreased protection for women in health care settings, with most equipment and guidelines being developed for men.
(06/17/20) Gaps in the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Law for Health Care Workers
This issue brief covers legislation from the federal government in April created to provide temporary short-term paid sick leave to more than 85 million workers. Many exemptions are included in the law, and conservative estimates place nearly one quarter of health care workers ineligible to receive emergency paid sick leave, even as they face high risk of exposure.
(06/11/20) Nursing Homes Run Short of COVID-19 Protective Gear as Federal Response Falters
An article from NPR covering the difficulties nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and long-term care industry is experiencing acquiring personal protective equipment for their health workforce. While help was promised, deliveries were delayed and inadequate to protect the workforce.
(06/09/20) Protecting Midwives and Mothers During the Pandemic
An article covering the issues midwives are experiencing in the United States and around the world in performing their duties safely amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Issues acquiring personal protective equipment are increasingly putting both midwives and their patients at risk of infection.
(06/08/20) COVID-19 Has Highlighted the Risks Home Health Workers Face — Here’s What Can Be Done To Help
An article covering many of the risks home health workers face during the COVID-19 pandemic, most of which stem from even before the pandemic. Low pay and insufficient hours or seasonal employment both increase risk of infection for the workers and their patients and lead to issues maintaining a home health workforce.
(06/07/20) ‘I Have Never Felt So Helpless’: Front-Line Workers Confront Loss
An article discussing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic thus far on the mental health of those treating patients. Burnout, PTSD, and “moral injury” are listed as major symptoms of mental health issues faced by doctors, nurses, and first responders addressing this crisis.
(06/06/20) Exclusive: Nearly 600 US Health Workers Died of COVID-19 – and the Toll Is Rising
The Guardian and Kaiser Health News have launched a project to count, verify, and memorialize each health care worker that dies as a result of COVID-19 infection. This count has thus far been substantially higher than numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
(06/04/20) Beyond PPE: Protecting Health Care Workers To Prevent a Behavioral Health Disaster
A blog post covering the risks of a behavioral health disaster to those health care workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. A lack of access to treatment for these health care workers and lack of training in the use of preventative treatment methods risks exacerbating the negative impacts.
(06/01/20) Resident Physicians Should Have a Say in Their Working Conditions
An opinion piece discussing the issues around working conditions for resident physicians, especially given the current COVID-19 pandemic and the difficulties health care workers are finding in advocating for better conditions while clinics are experiencing financial crises.
(06/01/20) A Powerful ‘Look-Back’ for COVID-19 Antibodies in Health Care Workers
The UConn School of Medicine is leading a study to measure health care workers at UConn Health for their exposure to COVID-19. The study includes drawing blood samples from clinicians, dental care providers, front office staff, support staff, and residents and medical students to measure their antibodies.
(05/29/20) ‘It’s Getting Worse.’ Nursing Home Workers Confront Risks in Facilities Devastated by Coronavirus
An article covering the more personal lives and perspectives of the nursing home, home health, and long-term care workforce amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Low pay and lack of protective equipment continue to be issues for workers throughout the long-term care industry.
(05/28/20) Essential but Undervalued: Millions of Health Care Workers Aren’t Getting the Pay or Respect They Deserve in the COVID-19 Pandemic
An article focused on the health care workers filling support, direct care, and health care service work, which play essential roles in health care but are experiencing the most difficulties maintaining pay, staying safe, and maintaining their hours during the COVID-19 pandemic. These workers make up the majority of the health workforce and ensure successful operation of the health care system.
(05/28/20) COVID-19 Has Killed Close To 300 U.S. Health Care Workers, New Data From CDC Shows
An article from NPR covers new data showing that COVID-19 is the cause of death of nearly 300 health care workers. Lack of testing of health care personnel and shortages of personal protective equipment appear to be exacerbating the risk of infection and death from COVID-19 among health care workers.
(05/26/20) COVID-19 Cases Among Health Care Workers Top 62,000, CDC Reports
The CDC has reported at least 62,000 cases of COVID-19 among health care workers, out of more than 1.3 million confirmed cases in the United States. At least 291 health care workers have died as a result of COVID-19 infection.
(05/20/20) How Health Care Workers Can Take Care of Themselves
An article from the Harvard Business Review discussing how emotional intelligence can be used to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health care providers and offering some suggestions for improving health outcomes for these providers.
(05/18/20) How Coronavirus Could Forever Change Home Health Care, Leaving Vulnerable Older Adults Without Care and Overburdening Caregivers
An article by Maghuri Reddy, instructor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School, and researchers at the University of Toronto describing the impact of COVID-19 on the home health care industry, including the risks to home health workforce and the restriction of available funding for home health care services.
(05/16/20) ‘I Can’t Turn My Brain Off’: PTSD and Burnout Threaten Medical Workers
An article describing the rise in mental health issues for health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the options available to these professionals help prevent burnout and mental health crises.
(05/15/20) COVID-19 Worsening Mental Health of 59% of Healthcare Industry Workers: KPMG Survey
A survey from KPMG of workers in the health care industry found evidence of worsening mental health relating to the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the general workforce. The survey also found that health care workers feel their engagement in teamwork, quality of work, and productivity have improved.
(05/14/20) The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Black Health Care Workers in the US
This article, featured in the Harvard Business Review, discusses the implications of race of health care providers and their risk of infection from COVID-19. Many black health care workers choose to work in urban areas with patients who are black, Latinx, low income and uninsured, which also currently experience the highest rates of infection of COVID-19.
(05/05/20) Epidemiology of and Risk Factors for Coronavirus Infection in Health Care Workers
This epidemiological review article, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, examines the burden of COVID-19 on the health care workforce, as well as the risk factors related to infection. Use of personal protective equipment and infection control training were found to be most effective at preventing infection.
(04/30/20) Health Care Worker Suicides Hint At COVID-19 Mental Health Crisis To Come
An article from Wendy Dean, president of Moral Injury of Healthcare, describing the risks and strategies for addressing mental health in health care workers both during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
(04/29/20) Mechanical Thrombectomy In The Era Of The COVID-19 Pandemic: Emergency Preparedness For Neuroscience Teams
A research article published in Stroke outlining effective procedures for emergency preparedness for neuroscience health care workers. The procedures outlined are meant to protect the workforce themselves, as well as their patients and families and prevent staffing shortages and compromised treatment capabilities.
(04/23/20) COVID-19 And Workers At Risk: Examining The Long-Term Care Workforce
This brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation details the risk of COVID-19 to the long-term care workforce, which includes the workforce of skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and home health providers. Findings suggest that demographics and wage differences may exacerbate issues with infection.
(04/23/20) Supporting Primary Care in Crisis: A Roadmap For a Payer-backed COVID-19 Stimulus Package
A blog post discussing the issues related to current crisis funding for health care facilities and some potential solutions to ensure health care providers do not end up shuttering their clinics.
(04/18/20) As Some States Consider Reopening, ADA Offers PPE Guidance to Dentists
Guidance from the American Dental Association on how to address reopening of clinics to more than just urgent and emergency care, specifically focusing on conserving and effectively using PPE.
(04/17/20) Medical Students Called to the COVID-19 Fight Need Support, Protection
An opinion piece discussing the potential risks for medical students now entering the health workforce to aid in response to COVID-19. The article also addresses some concerns about the impact of COVID-19 volunteering from medical students on their education.
(04/15/20) At Least 9,000 U.S. Health Care Workers Sickened With COVID-19, CDC Data Shows
An article reviewing preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlighting the high rate of infection among the health workforce. The article finds that a third of the health care workers that died of COVID-19 were over 65 years old, and 55% of workers believe they were exposed at work support staff hospital workers during the COVID-19 epidemic.
(04/15/20) The Other Hospital Workers On the Front Lines of the Pandemic
An article that calls for protecting support staff hospital workers during the COVID-19 epidemic.
(04/15/20) An Age/Old Dilemma? Pulling Senior Cardiologists From the Front During COVID-19
An article about how some hospitals are asking senior cardiologists to work from home during the pandemic.
(04/15/20) True Toll Of COVID-19 On U.S. Health Care Workers Unknown
An article that states that health care workers who have tested positive for the coronavirus are likely far higher than the reported number of 9,200.
(04/14/20) Home Health Care Workers at Tipping Point Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
An article discussing the issues facing home health workers including lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and increased demand for home health services as individuals are avoiding hospital and nursing home treatment during the COVID-19 outbreak. The article also discusses increased use of telehealth from the home and calls for industrial reform to the home care industry.
(03/31/20) How Many Health Care Workers Are at Risk of Being Sacrificed to COVID-19 in the US?
A blog that estimates how many health care workers are at risk of testing positive for COVID-19 and dying from the disease. The article also examines which healthcare settings and occupations might experience the greatest loss.
(03/30/20) Older Clinicians and the Surge in Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
This article outlines the risks to older clinicians who are already answering and will continue to answer the call to help deal with the surge of COVID-19 patients. The authors also show some of the regional differences in age for clinicians, important for regional planning for response.
(03/27/20) Epidemiology of COVID-19 in a Long-Term Care Facility in King County, Washington
A research article describing the epidemiology of COVID-19 in a long-term care facility in Washington State. This article describes how the virus spread throughout the facility and what steps can be taken to keep the long-term care workforce, patients, and facilities safe.
(03/24/20) COVID-19 Webinar Series Session 4 – Health System Capacity: Protecting Frontline Health Workers
This webinar from Alliance for Health Policy explores challenges to protect health care workers on the front line of the COVID-19 response. Topics discussed include health system capacity and protection of providers, such as increasing the availability of telemedicine.