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Thu May 13, 2021, 04:57 AM

Burned out by the pandemic, 3 in 10 health-care workers consider leaving the profession

After a year of trauma, doctors, nurses and other health workers are struggling to cope

The doctorís bag now sits in his closet gathering dust. He lost his stethoscope somewhere in the house ó a familiar weight that sat on his neck for two decades.

Itís been months since Justin Meschler, 48, practiced medicine. And he wonders if he ever will again.

He quit his job as an anesthesiologist during the pandemic last spring when fear began seeping into every part of his life. And what began as a few months off has now turned into something much longer.

ďI feel guilty for leaving. I think about the others who stayed on. I think about the patients I could have helped. I feel like I abandoned them,Ē Meschler said. ďBut mostly, I feel relieved.Ē

A year into the pandemic, many others are joining Meschler at the door ó an exodus fueled by burnout, trauma and disillusionment. According to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll, roughly 3 in 10 health-care workers have weighed leaving their profession. More than half are burned out. And about 6 in 10 say stress from the pandemic has harmed their mental health.

More: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/04/22/health-workers-covid-quit/

They CAN'T take it ANYMORE.

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Reply Burned out by the pandemic, 3 in 10 health-care workers consider leaving the profession (Original post)
OhioChick May 13 OP
smirkymonkey May 13 #1
OhioChick May 13 #2
smirkymonkey May 13 #3
OhioChick May 13 #4
Skittles May 13 #5
OhioChick May 13 #6
Phoenix61 May 13 #9
OhioChick May 16 #15
bucolic_frolic May 13 #7
OldBaldy1701E May 13 #8
OhioChick May 16 #16
Aristus May 13 #10
OhioChick May 16 #17
Aristus May 16 #25
PCIntern May 13 #11
OhioChick May 16 #18
PCIntern May 16 #22
OhioChick May 16 #23
Hekate May 13 #12
OhioChick May 16 #19
Hugin May 13 #13
OhioChick May 16 #20
Hugin May 16 #24
hunter May 13 #14
OhioChick May 16 #21

Response to OhioChick (Original post)

Thu May 13, 2021, 05:35 AM

1. It's hard to blame them. We don't know what trauma they have gone through.

We need to do better to support this community, because we all lose when they walk away. They are among the most important people in our society and we should do everything we can to make sure they are taken care of. They should never be taken for granted.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #1)

Thu May 13, 2021, 05:54 AM

2. My kids are both physicians and have gotten Covid twice....

As have I. My one young son can't even eat or drink a thing, he's been through all testing and it's Covid-related. It's affected his entire GI tract. He looks anorexic and there's nothing they can do for him. He's being forced to work with a huge amount of medical debt. (Keep in mind that most residents only make $50-60K/year)

My other young son also has long-term symptoms and I haven't even seen him in over a year and a half.

Most of their colleagues are sick, have PTSD and are broken.

They're exhausted and sick due to all of the assholes out there.

At this rate, I told them if this gets any worse (which it will) LEAVE. Their lives are more important.

Most of their colleagues are planning on walking off the job soon, I can't say I blame them, I'd do the same thing.

One just left and is now flipping houses and making more money. He said he feels safer, more relaxed and is getting paid much more and paying off his medical school debt much faster.

His parting words on his last day..... "Fuck This."

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Response to OhioChick (Reply #2)

Thu May 13, 2021, 06:10 AM

3. I am so sorry for what your children are going through. It sounds like a nightmare.

I can't even imagine the trauma they have had to endure. I would not blame them for walking away.

But we need them desperately and we need to know what it will take to keep them on the job and whatever it takes, we need to support them. Many of them need time off, but they also need to be treated like human beings by their employers. It is time we show more compassion for those who risk their lives daily to take care of the rest of us.

And it make me angry that there are still people out there who won't get vaccinated or mask up, therefore exposing themselves unnecesarily and ending up in the hospital where they threaten the lives of your children and others. It's so irresponsible, these anti-vaxers, anti-maskers only think of themselves.

I wish you and your children good health and all the best!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #3)

Thu May 13, 2021, 06:30 AM

4. Thank you for your kindess and understanding.....

I'm in tears as I type this, it is a nightmare. I feel that I failed as a parent when they both came to me for my advice on entering the medical field years ago. They're compassionate, intelligent individuals and I gave my blessing. What a mistake that was.

They're not being supported by anyone anymore, they've all been forgotten. People used to send pizzas and food to the ED's or at least nice notes to the staff stating that they were supported and appreciated. Those days have been long gone for some time now.

My kids and their colleagues have been over-worked for the past year and a half. They work, come home, shower, go to bed to wake up early and do it all over again. They have no lives and are being forced to work longer hours. CEO's of hospitals don't care, no one does.

With the surge that will inevitably come, they know they'll be once again back to sleeping at the hospital and dealing with sick, dying and death.

I'm told the staff cry in the hospital when they see mask burning going on in different cities or malls, restaurants and all else packed in like sardines.

Now, with people like DeWine and DeathSantis going all in with dropping mask mandates and opening everything up, they wish they never became doctors, they hate their jobs, their lives and their deteriorated health and they're only young kids.

I'm told that hospital staff have said if people refuse vaccinations, they should have to sign away their right to healthcare if they catch Covid, already. Let them go home and die from the "hoax."

Oh, and Cedar Point is opening up tomorrow, YAY!! Masks not required, of course! (Not to mention all of the full beaches in FL)

Thank you for your kind post, I'm just a sick, worried and pissed off mother. My kids are my life and I'm watching their lives fall apart right in front of my eyes and there's nothing I can do.





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Response to OhioChick (Reply #4)

Thu May 13, 2021, 06:38 AM

5. you did not fail in any way

not having a competent leader when the pandemic started is what hurt all of us

my autistic brother died yesterday in hospice and I was never able to visit him because of the pandemic.....things would have been different without Trump.....I'll never forgive the people who keep supporting that monster, NEVER

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Response to Skittles (Reply #5)

Thu May 13, 2021, 06:42 AM

6. I'm so sorry to hear this Skittles...

You have my sincere condolences on the loss of your dear Brother.

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Response to OhioChick (Reply #4)

Thu May 13, 2021, 09:26 AM

9. I'm so sorry. There's nothing worse than watching

those we love struggle. I know you didnít ask for advice but it sounds like they might qualify for FMLA. Itís not a permanent solution but 12 weeks of rest couldnít hurt. Iím in Florida and canít begin to imagine how the docs feel here. My local school board just lifted the mask mandate and will have in person school starting this summer. May I live long enough to piss on DeSatanís grave.

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Response to Phoenix61 (Reply #9)

Sun May 16, 2021, 03:55 AM

15. Thank you for your kindness....

It's been a rough year and a half without a doubt. It seems as though there's no end in sight.

They've already talked to their program directors in regard to FMLA and were denied due to the up-coming expected surges likely this Summer. (Several were threatened in having their licenses revoked which I don't even think is legal, then again anything goes during a Pandemic)

In-person schooling this Summer without a mask mandate sounds like a nightmare. I too, hope I live long enough to piss on most of their graves.

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Response to OhioChick (Original post)

Thu May 13, 2021, 06:55 AM

7. As a volunteer

I noticed an HR exec chatting up each volunteer at a recent vaccination event. It was a nice touch, but now I'm thinking there is a little motivation behind it. Thanks for the post!

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Response to OhioChick (Original post)

Thu May 13, 2021, 07:37 AM

8. They should not have to 'take it'

All problems with our healthcare should be laid at the feet of every single rethug in politics. And, if we lose a portion of our healthcare professionals, then that is the fault of the percentage of asshats in our society that think they are better than everyone else solely because of their financial worth/societal position. (Now, which party seems to collect smug, rich, bigots by the droves, hmm?) If we suffer a shortage of healthcare professionals, then any person seeking aid should FIRST have to flash a vaccination card to even have someone get near them. And, if the person does not have one, then they are S.O.L.. (Shit Outta Luck). As far as I am concerned, every injustice and bias that the rethug party has visited on this country needs to have it tossed right back at them. If you think you have seen a snowflake before, wait till something like this happens!

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Response to OldBaldy1701E (Reply #8)

Sun May 16, 2021, 04:04 AM

16. I agree with you completely....

Since vaccinations have become available, I've always said if someone refuses a vaccination and gets ill from Covid, they should just be turned away from hospitals. Why should healthcare workers have to continually put their lives and those they love at risk for ignorant people who refuse to believe in Science and vaccinations?

I do like your "SOL" idea.

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Response to OhioChick (Original post)

Thu May 13, 2021, 09:42 AM

10. I've been getting burned out, but the pandemic is only partly responsible.

Mostly it's just general overwork, greedy administrators who want as many billable encounters a day as possible, time-wasting petty little complaints that could have been solved over the phone with nurse triage (which the admins don't want - see 'billable encounters') uncooperative patients, and none of the recreational pursuits I had before COVID-19 that helped me blow off steam.

I come to work with headaches every day, and leave the clinic dreading coming back the next day.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #10)

Sun May 16, 2021, 04:10 AM

17. My kids have familiarized me with the ED/ICU end being MD's.....

As a PA, have you had to work long hours in ICU's and ED's, as well? (I saw you mentioned being in a Clinic and got a bit confused.....are you talking Mayo Clinic or a small rural clinic?)

I hear horror stories daily and it's an on-going nightmare.

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Response to OhioChick (Reply #17)

Sun May 16, 2021, 09:24 AM

25. No. I work in an urban clinic for homeless patients.

Although I do have many mainstream patients, as well.

I wonít pretend that working in a clinic comes with the stresses of working in an ICU, but itís still a pretty stressful environment.

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Response to OhioChick (Original post)

Thu May 13, 2021, 10:19 AM

11. Tell me about it.

Itís been murder. And this is my second epidemic/pandemic.

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Response to PCIntern (Reply #11)

Sun May 16, 2021, 04:22 AM

18. I feel for you, I do remember hearing your thoughts when this all began over a year ago...

The sad thing is, until we're able to convince more to get vaccinated, all of you will be expected to continue to risk your lives daily.

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Response to OhioChick (Reply #18)

Sun May 16, 2021, 06:55 AM

22. Thank you.

Iím more or less OK but this has REALLY been an ordeal.

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Response to PCIntern (Reply #22)

Sun May 16, 2021, 07:01 AM

23. I see that from my kids....

Please stay safe.

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Response to OhioChick (Original post)

Thu May 13, 2021, 10:39 AM

12. I absolutely understand. I fear for not just their physical but their mental health...

For some time I have wondered how the hell they will survive when our next ďwaveĒ arrives. And how we non-medical people will survive.

The temptation ó no, the need ó to just walk off the job must be profound by now.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #12)

Sun May 16, 2021, 04:27 AM

19. So many have PTSD already and this isn't even over yet....

The last that I heard, over 3600 healthcare workers have died from Covid, I'm sure it's since risen.

Another topic that's never discussed is the suicide rate with doctors. They've always had a higher than normal suicide rate and I believe this Pandemic is really putting them through hell.

I know of 3 young resident doctors that have commit suicide since this Pandemic began, it's terrible.

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Response to OhioChick (Original post)

Thu May 13, 2021, 10:47 AM

13. KnR

The costs human and economically keep mounting.

Early on I said that specifically the student debt of health care workers should be forgiven. To reward those who were working and to encourage the people needed to enter the field during the crisis. I knew it was falling on deaf ears then, but, now I expect better.

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Response to Hugin (Reply #13)

Sun May 16, 2021, 04:32 AM

20. It is a terrible situation....

Although, I highly doubt their debt will ever be forgiven, most of them have taken out close to $500K in loans over the years. Unfortunately, I truly don't think many care, unless they get sick and need to see someone in the medical field.

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Response to OhioChick (Reply #20)

Sun May 16, 2021, 08:26 AM

24. I am used to shouting into the wind, OC.

It is what I do. A trait I inherited from my Mom.

Lately, it has been with a damn mask on.

This is a global pandemic.

I'm sure we're going to need every one of these people and more before this is over. When we have a situation like is occurring in several areas in the World where there are so many human remains which aren't properly and carefully removed from contact with the living. Other diseases emerge into a population already weakened that while less transmittable are far more lethal.

We can't simply vaccinate ourselves out of this.

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Response to OhioChick (Original post)

Thu May 13, 2021, 11:09 AM

14. The healthcare "system" in the U.S.A. was a nightmare *before* the pandemic.

It's no surprise the pandemic made it worse.

Yet there's this persistent myth the U.S.A. has the "best health care in the world."

We don't. Not by the overall health of our population and certainly not by the job satisfaction of our health care professionals.

Even the very wealthy can suffer inappropriate and dangerous medical care in the U.S.A..

And the cost of our healthcare is absurd.

When you think about it, U.S.A. culture tortures altruistic professionals in general, from teachers to doctors.

Anti-intellectualism is at the core of it.

The same fools who voted for Trump realize that educated people are a threat to their "way of life" and they don't like it.

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Response to hunter (Reply #14)

Sun May 16, 2021, 04:42 AM

21. I agree, our healthcare system has always been a nightmare...

I don't expect it to get better any time soon, either.

I remember when the idiot (I can't even say his name anymore) was saying that doctors were banking on every single Covid case they diagnosed, the medical community were irate as hell. They had no PPE, it was being sold off by the "him and his administration", the idiot was throwing all of those super-spreader rallies, etc.

They were all so devastated dealing with this nightmare, yet "he" was doing flyovers in certain cities for them. It was insulting.

I really wish that when this Pandemic started that Obama was still in Office, it never would've gotten to this point with so many dead. It's a damn shame.

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