ShiftKey’s national data report reveals healthcare workers make frequent personal sacrifices

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ShiftKey's “Solutions to Healthcare Burnout Report” reveals the majority of nurses are forced to make personal sacrifices — schedule flexibility is critical to stay in healthcare.

ShiftKey, a leading technology marketplace disrupting healthcare through data and workforce empowerment, today released findings from its “Solutions to Healthcare Burnout Report.” To provide support and insights to healthcare workers ahead of National Caregivers Day, February 16, a day dedicated to recognizing the work of care professionals across the country, ShiftKey took a deep dive into the many sacrifices made by nurses influencing their lives and their ability to address personal and professional needs. Through the report, ShiftKey aims to uncover how burnout impacts healthcare workers and reveals solutions to alleviate these professionals' challenges.

Healthcare workers' personal caregiving responsibilities compound burnout

According to the report, which surveyed 1,000 nurses and healthcare workers across the U.S., 81% of healthcare professionals say they’ve experienced burnout, with the majority (62%) saying they’re at risk of burnout right now and 49% noting that they’ve considered leaving the field altogether.

Additionally, 81% of respondents say that they have caretaking responsibilities in their personal lives. When asked how they manage their caregiving obligations, 64% say balancing caregiving responsibilities outside of work with their professional duties is difficult.

  • 52% of healthcare workers are caring for children
  • 39% are taking care of parents
  • 34% have their own chronic health challenges
  • 21% are taking care of extended family members

Healthcare workers are passionate about their profession but feel that their challenges aren’t understood

Healthcare is a calling for many, and helping others as part of their work is fulfilling. Despite dealing with burnout, the majority (79%) of healthcare professionals wouldn’t trade their careers for another.

However, they feel misunderstood, with an overwhelming 95% of respondents stating that people don’t understand the challenges of their work. Most (91%) healthcare workers say their job is more demanding than the average American’s, and 51% say it is much more demanding.

The majority of nurses and healthcare professionals are making significant personal sacrifices for their work

While burnout has been well documented in the healthcare field, there is little data on its impact on these professionals' personal lives. ShiftKey’s “Solutions to Healthcare Burnout Report” found that almost all (96%) respondents have missed at least one major event due to work commitments, such as major holidays (73%), birthdays (73%), vacations (55%), anniversaries (41%), weddings (38%) and graduations (34%). 1 in 3 have even had to miss funerals (33%).

Healthcare workers also find it difficult to keep up with the activities that impact their overall quality of life, including:

  • Finding time to spend with family (88%)
  • Pursuing personal hobbies (87%)
  • General home upkeep (86%)
  • Mental health and wellness (85%)

Schedule flexibility is critical to solving healthcare worker burnout

An overwhelming 97% of respondents agree that nurses and healthcare workers need more scheduling flexibility to combat burnout, with 93% noting that healthcare professionals can benefit from the flexibility provided by independent contractor work.

For many healthcare professionals, quality time with family is a key tool to combat work-related fatigue. In fact, 82% of healthcare workers say quality family time is the top way they manage stress. To get more quality time with family, 43% of respondents say they need better schedule flexibility.

In addition to time with family, healthcare professionals combat burnout with:

  • Self-care (70%)
  • Exercise (68%)
  • Mental health support like therapy or meditation (50%)

“Professional autonomy and the ability to own their own schedules are not just ‘nice-to-haves’, but a lifeline and necessity for many healthcare workers to remain in the field,” said Regan Parker, Chief Legal and Public Affairs Officer, ShiftKey. “By empowering healthcare professionals to choose where and when they work, they can manage the demands of their professional and personal lives. Nobody should have to choose between the work that they love and their family, and we know from our report that having more freedom and preserving work-life balance is critical to solving the exhaustion that is common among this workforce. By providing a different way to work through our marketplace, we allow people the flexibility they need to stay in this industry, which, in turn, keeps our healthcare system strong.”

Read the full report here:

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