Happy caregiver man helping and supporting senior woman sitting outdoors in park.
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Healthcare workers have experienced well-known high levels of burnout since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but a recent study shows that morale is beginning to improve.

“While the pandemic is not over, despite the end of the US public health emergency in May, nearly three in five healthcare workers said they are optimistic about the future of the industry,” according to the results of a new Morning Consult survey. “Another three in five said they have mostly been able to handle the stressors of work in the past six months.”

In January, in a survey of nurses reported by McKnight’s, only one-third of respondents said that they planned to remain in the profession, and approximately one-fourth said they planned to leave in one to two years. The nurses ranked staffing shortages as the top cause of burnout and attrition dogging their profession. At that time, two in five of the respondents said that COVID-19 stressors have substantially increased their desire to leave their jobs.

That’s not to say that burnout and low morale have completely gone away since the earlier survey.

“Health workers still feel stressed and burned out by their jobs three years into the pandemic: one in three said they have struggled to cope with the stressors of work in the past six months, and respondents were split on whether they felt defeated by the demands of their work or energized in the past six months (42% for each),” according to the new Morning Consult report.

Almost half of those who said they have felt defeated by work also said that they have been affected by staff shortages. 

According to the survey, about three in five healthcare workers are optimistic about life after the PHE and said they have an appropriate amount of personal protective equipment on hand should the need arise.