Healthcare workers face burnout as omicron cases rise

Neurosurgery assistant Ashley Silva said the burnout that plagues many healthcare professionals ultimately impacts the quality of care patients receive.

AUSTIN, Texas – Just when many thought things were getting back to normal, the latest variant of COVID-19 has arrived.

The difference this time around is that people are tired, healthcare workers face burnout, and the U.S. Department of Labor said that in 2021, they quit their jobs at rates higher than ‘at the start of the pandemic.

Neurosurgery assistant Ashley Silva witnessed it firsthand.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, not only is there a demand for healthcare workers, but people who experienced it in hospitals at the height of the crisis have also left the field in cause of the effect of COVID-19, “said Silva. “How limited staff are, how risky they are, as well as time away from family and friends and responsibilities at home.”

Due to this staff shortage, and now the new wave of COVID, Silva’s physical and mental health has taken its toll.

“I don’t know how to explain it, but the general feeling of exhaustion and coming home and feeling tired and waking up and tired already before you have to go in, you know, because you realize the amount of job you take that day, ”Silva said.

It has not been easy for a few months.

As people continue to leave the workforce and the United States continues to fight COVID, Silva is worried about all the changes that will come with it.

“They are tired,” she added. “They are overworked. They are underpaid. It starts to have a ripple effect and ultimately affects the quality of care patients receive.”

With omicron continuing to increase the volume of patients, Silva’s only hope is for it to end soon.

If you are a healthcare professional struggling with feelings of stress, anxiety, fear, or any other emotion, you are not alone. Here are some tips from the CDC to help you deal with these emotions:

  • Communicate with your colleagues, supervisors and employees about stress at work
  • Remember everyone is in an unusual situation with limited resources
  • Identify and accept the things over which you have no control
  • Recognize that you play a crucial role in the fight against this pandemic and that you are doing your best with the resources available
  • Try to get enough sleep
  • Take the time to eat healthy meals
  • Take breaks during your shift to rest, stretch, or chat with supportive colleagues, coworkers, friends and family
  • Spend time outdoors being physically active or relaxing. Do things you love outside of work hours.

If you are concerned that you or a member of your household could hurt yourself or someone else, contact these resources for advice:

If you feel overwhelmed by emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety:

If you need to find treatment or mental health providers in your area:

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