4 in 5 healthcare workers feel unsupported by their bosses, study finds

Eighty percent of healthcare workers surveyed in Massachusetts said their leadership does not support them, according to a study published June 8 in the Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice

The researchers compiled responses among 261 healthcare workers from 52 interviews between April 22, 2021, and Sept. 7, 2021, and 209 online survey responses from Feb. 17, 2022, to March 23, 2022.

The earlier responses highlighted stress from the COVID-19 pandemic and feeling unprepared for the viral outbreak, and latter answers pointed to pandemic-induced burnout. These issues are leading to 40 percent of surveyed healthcare workers planning to leave the healthcare industry within five years. 

"The finding that only 1 in 5 healthcare professionals felt supported by leadership is highly concerning," the researchers wrote in conclusion, adding that executives should be focusing on career sustainability. "Increased compensation will allow healthcare workers to sustain their quality of life in the setting of inflation and a rising cost of living. Flexible schedules also allow healthcare professionals to care for their patients and their families."

There is a disconnect between what healthcare workers want and what their employers are willing to give, though. A June 12 report from Incredible Health found that 80 percent of younger nurses are asking for flexible scheduling, but only 11 percent of hospital executives said they offer it. More nurses are also asking for career advancement training, but many systems are not prioritizing these programs. 

"The combination of increased workload, decreased resources to care for patients and feeling unsupported by leadership has led to unprecedented dissatisfaction," the authors of the Massachusetts-based survey said.

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