Mental toll of COVID pandemic could push health care workers to leave

Dec 19, 2021, 12:48 PM
health care workers...
A nurse works near an inflated glove with a Thanksgiving message on it in the trauma surgery ICU at Harborview Medical Center in 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

The COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely tough on health care workers across the United States, and it may cause some people to leave the field.

Virologist: Even if less severe than delta, omicron variant could stress health care system

A study to assess the mental health effects of COVID-19 care among U.S. health care workers and first-responders showed that nearly half of all respondents, and 59% of all nurses, reported that their experiences had somewhat or significantly reduced their likelihood of remaining in their current field.

The UW Medicine Newsroom shared the results of this study, which is still ongoing. Psychiatry specialists at UW Medicine and the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System in Seattle, as well as emergency medicine physicians at Columbia University, collaborated on the research.

Early results, which represent 510 respondents, were published Dec. 16 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

“It’s really important to remember that healthcare workers and first-responders may be professionals who are ‘trained’ to deal with trauma, but we are still human beings who are affected by what we experience,” said Dr. Rebecca Hendrickson, lead author and acting assistant professor with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the UW School of Medicine and a clinician at the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, in a written statement.

Washington seeing ‘rapid rise’ of omicron variant cases leading into holiday season

Between pandemic burnout and leaving to become traveling nurses, health workers in Washington state — and across the country — have been exiting hospitals in droves.

“For almost two years, nurses and health care workers have worked longer and longer hours and put their lives at risk to help us,” said David Keepnews, a registered nurse and director of the Washington State Nurses Association.

To get help from legislators to address hospital staffing shortages in Washington, health workers across the state are launching the WA Safe + Healthy Campaign.

Local News

MyNorthwest Staff

Kent seeks refunds for missed trash pickups as collection resumes for Western Washington

Trash collection worker solidarity strikes ended Tuesday for Western Washington as Republic Services ratifies a new contract with Teamsters.
17 hours ago
COVID-19 deaths, Snohomish County...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

‘Occupancy is virtually 100%’: Just one available ICU bed in all of Snohomish County

As of Tuesday morning, there is only one intensive care bed available in all of Snohomish County, as hospitals continue to feel the strain.
17 hours ago
King County COVID...
Nick Bowman

King County COVID cases finally trending down, but ‘we’re not out of the woods yet’

After soaring to record numbers in January, COVID-19 cases in King County appear to finally be trending in a downward direction.
17 hours ago
Rumors camps...
Nick Bowman

UW expert: False rumors about forced quarantine for unvaccinated were ‘strategically amplified’

Rumors claiming that the state would soon be setting up forced quarantines for the unvaccinated spread like wildfire in recent weeks.
17 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

New mass COVID vaccination site opens in Snohomish County

A new indoor COVID-19 vaccination clinic opens at the Everett Mall on Tuesday, and Snohomish County says a mass testing site is coming soon.
17 hours ago
Washington ferries...
MyNorthwest Staff

Washington ferries move ‘most routes’ to alternate schedules amid ongoing crew shortages

Washington state ferries have continued to deal with delays, staffing shortages, and reduced routes to kick of the new year.
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Mental toll of COVID pandemic could push health care workers to leave