Feb 15, 2022 - Health

Health workers weighing their options

Data: Morning Consult; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Some of America's health care workers appear to be considering their job options outside the industry, according to a new Axios/Morning Consult survey.

Driving the news: Health care workers aren't immune from the trends driving the Great Resignation across the U.S. workforce.

  • Those caring for COVID-19 patients are more likely than other health care workers to report that they've been thinking about heading to another industry.

By the numbers: The proportion of health care workers considering leaving their jobs for another industry has increased steadily since last summer.

  • In July and August, 15% of health care workers considered leaving the health care industry. Just under one in five (19%) of those who cared for COVID-19 patients reported considering it.
  • As Omicron began to hit in November and December, the share of health workers considering leaving the industry increased to 20%, and the number of frontline workers considering leaving the industry hit 23%. That has remained largely steady through January.

Yes, but: Only 6% of health care workers reported actually leaving their jobs between July and August, and just 3% say they've left so far this year.

Data: Morning Consult; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The big picture: The majority of frontline healthcare workers said they feel they've been able to cope with the stressors of the pandemic (58%).

  • A plurality of frontline workers (45%) also felt the worst of the pandemic was behind us, and a majority said they felt their facilities were equipped to respond to an increase in COVID patients (64%).

What they're saying: The timing of the survey, when Omicron was starting to decline, may be a factor in the sense of resilience reflected in those answers, Robin Graziano, Morning Consult's managing director of strategic services, told Axios.

  • However, more than 50% of frontline workers said their mental health had worsened since the start of the pandemic, and about 40% said their physical health had worsened.

Methodology: This Axios/Morning Consult Survey was conducted Jan. 31-Feb. 11 by Morning Consult. This survey is based on a nationally representative sample of 1,005 adults who work in health care.

  • The margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample.
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