Almost one-third of health care workers considered leaving their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Thursday.
Twenty-nine percent of health care workers said they “considered no longer working in health care,” while 71 percent said they never thought about changing their careers.
The survey underscores the strain health care workers have been under since the start of the pandemic. Fifty-five percent of the workers said they felt “burned out,” 62 percent said the pandemic had a negative impact on their mental health and 47 percent said they either had trouble sleeping or are sleeping too much as a result of the stress.
When asked about major sources of stress, 81 percent of health care workers said they were concerned about being exposed to the coronavirus at work, and 79 percent said they were concerned about exposing others in their households to the virus.
At the time of the survey, conducted Feb. 11-March 7, health care workers had received far more vaccinations proportionally than the general population. While only 18 percent of adults overall said they had received at least one vaccine dose, 52 percent of health care workers had gotten at least one shot, though 48 percent still hadn't gotten one.
The survey comes as vaccinations provide a light at the end of the tunnel for the pandemic. However, infection levels are remaining stagnant, and the death toll has reached nearly 570,000.
“Most of us got into this to save lives. But when death is blowing around you like a tornado and you can’t make a dent in any of it, it makes you question whether you’re making any difference,” Megan Brunson, a night-shift nurse in Dallas, told The Post.
The Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll surveyed 1,327 health care workers and has a margin of error of 3 points.