- A new survey reveals that 68% of healthcare workers plan to leave the industry
- The COVID-19 pandemic has seen 50% of nurses in the survey say they are currently experiencing high levels of anxiety and emotional stress
- More than 1,300 nurses aged between 21 and 76 participated in the survey
- The survey was conducted by HOLLIBLU, a community and technology for nurses, and FeedTrail, a real-time insights platform for patients
- Nurses that took part say that their anxiety under the stressful conditions is affecting their ability to do their job properly, which is putting lives at risk
- The survey shows that 56% claim that the stress is affecting their concentration at work, 52% say they are distracted and 45% experience intrusive thoughts
- Cara Lunsford, founder of HOLLIBLU , warned that if a fraction of those nurse quit there will be a healthcare crisis and many more people would die
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Stressed out frontline nurses are at a breaking point and are putting lives at risk because they can’t concentrate on patient care amid the COVID-19 crisis, a shocking new survey has revealed.
According to a countrywide mental health poll – obtained exclusively by DailyMailTV – health workers are close to burn out and a staggering 68% have revealed they plan to leave the industry.
Nursing has also seen skyrocketing rates of attrition during the pandemic and 50% of respondents said they are currently experiencing high levels of anxiety and emotional stress.
Shockingly, a high level of the nurses that took part say that their anxiety amid the unprecedented conditions is affecting their ability to do their job properly, which is putting lives at risk.
The survey was conducted by HOLLIBLU, a community and technology for nurses, and FeedTrail, a real-time insights platform for patients. The survey shows that 56% claimed that the stress is affecting their concentration at work, 52% say they are distracted and 45% experience intrusive thoughts
The survey shows that 56% of respondents claimed that the stress is affecting their concentration at work, 52% say they are distracted and 45% experience intrusive thoughts.
Half of the nurses surveyed admit they become worried at even the thought of going to work.
Replacing the huge number of nurses set to leave the frontline could cost the healthcare system $136billion.
And experts predict that unless healthcare companies start to treat their nurses better they face a staff shortage crisis in six months to a year.
The survey was run by HOLLIBLU, a community and technology for nurses, and FeedTrail, a real-time insights platform for patient and employee engagement.
They came together with mental health advocates, Kim LaMontagne and Portia Wofford, LVN to create a second national nurse survey addressing the mental well-being of nurses and what their biggest requirements were for staying at their current place of work.
More than 1,300 nurses aged between 21 and 76 responded anonymously to the survey on HOLLIBLU and Show Me Your Stethoscope, the largest online community of nurses, over seven days at the beginning of May.
Registered nurses accounted for 78% of the respondents, while 74% worked at hospitals or long term care organizations.
Nurses that took part say that their anxiety under the stressful conditions is affecting their ability to do their job properly, which is putting lives at risk
Cara Lunsford, founder of HOLLIBLU and a former nurse for child cancer patients, said the survey results are ‘alarming’, and warned that if even a fraction of those considering quitting followed through, there will be a crisis in healthcare and many more people in the hospital would die.
She told DailyMail.com: ‘We asked the nurses whether they feel worried when they go to work. ‘And interestingly enough, that was one of the most alarming questions. Half of nurses feel worried when they go to work. And then we talked about how does that worry manifest itself.
‘We asked them a variety of things from basic heartbeat to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea to all kinds of things.+8
Cara Lunsford, founder of HOLLIBLU and a former nurse for child cancer patients, said the survey results are ‘alarming’
‘The nurses said they were distracted at work, they had an inability to concentrate and they had intrusive thoughts, some of the top three things they were experiencing.
‘So you can imagine how hard it is to actually care for patients when you’re feeling like that.’
Lunsford believes the quality of care provided by healthcare providers will ultimately plummet with a workforce feeling so low.
But she says it will only take hospitals and healthcare companies to make small adjustments to keep hold of their disgruntled nurses.
‘The survey shows that hospital systems just have to make small changes sometimes to have a huge impact.
‘They need to support their staff, they need to listen to them, they need to care for them, they need to care about their staff as much as they care about the patient satisfaction.
‘We were able to see that with employee satisfaction, you’re gonna have patient satisfaction. ‘You’ll have better patient scores and nurses won’t want to leave.’
Shockingly the survey showed that nurses only rated their mental health at 32 out of 100 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and when asked how they’re feeling right now the average score was 36 out of a 100.
Most nurses cited better communication, appreciation from management and an increase in pay as key factors in improving their job satisfaction.
Lunsford, a former pediatric oncology nurse, added: ‘I think if the healthcare industry doesn’t make some changes around areas of retention – pay and appreciation from management and nurse supported policies – then they are gonna see an exodus of nurses who are like, “you know what, I’m done. I was going to retire in five years. I’m retiring now”.
‘There’s absolutely that risk because nurses were already burned out even before COVID-19.’
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen 50% of nurses in the survey say they are currently experiencing high levels of anxiety and emotional stress
Lunsford says her firm HOLLIBLU is trying to urge the healthcare companies to take their ‘head out of the sand’.
She said: ‘The problem isn’t going away, they’re going to look up in six months or a year from now, and say, “Oh my God, I’m losing my workforce. I’m losing the people that are keeping this healthcare system running”.
‘And if you don’t think that people will die from that, then you’re kidding yourself because a lack of appropriate care, increasing nurse/patient ratios, these things all lead to sub-standard patient care, mistakes and death.’
In HOLLIBLU’s first survey in April some nurses reported being stretched to the limit working 21 days straight amid the coronavirus chaos, while lacking basic PPE equipment like masks.
Across the country, more than 60% of nurses said they were on the verge of quitting their hospital or even the entire profession, some feeling their lives are being treated as ‘expendable’.
Data company Feedtrail which analyzed the responses said huge proportions of nurses felt hopeless and overwhelmed, with comments including ‘I have never felt more expendable in my life’, ‘it is absolutely terrifying’, and ‘we’re all drowning’.