Organizational responses needed to address hospital worker burnout: science table

nurses burn out

Ontario's science advisers say a vicious cycle of health worker burnout and understaffing may be underway.

In a new research brief, the group calls for organizational responses to mitigate the problem that's anticipated to continue through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table report published this week looks at patterns of burnout reported in Canada, North America and around the world during the pandemic.

Their research focused on hospital workers but the group says similar problems exist in other areas of health such as long-term care and public health.

The group says burnout was a significant problem in health-care before the pandemic but it has since reached levels that ``pose a threat to maintaining a functioning health-care workforce.''

Research shows that nurses, those in intensive care and emergency departments, women, recent graduates and trainees are most at risk of burnout, which can lead to people leaving their jobs and contributing further to burnout risk among remaining staff.