For Audra Williams, intensive care unit (ICU) nursing is her “obsession” and it’s been almost eight years of her career. This caused her to work in four US states. including the latest is New York.
But when the coronavirus outbreak last year And when New York City became the epicenter of the global virus, at one point she was faced with a difficult decision: Should she give up the job she loved for her own health?
“My mental health suffers more than I̵7;ve ever experienced,” Williams told CNBC Make It.
too much workload failed leadership And emotional trauma forced Williams to face anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. And in July 2020, she left her nursing job to support health workers.
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Williams is one of several healthcare professionals who are rethinking their frontline careers in response to growing pressure from the COVID-19 crisis.
According to a recent study, between 20% and 30% of US healthcare workers said they are now considering leaving the profession. especially One April 2021 study by the Vivian healthcare job market found that four in 10 nurses (43%) are considering leaving the role in 2021, a higher figure among ICU employees (48%).
And the United States is not alone in this phenomenon. A recent report by the British Medical Association found that thousands of UK doctors plan to leave the National Health Service after the epidemic due to exhaustion and concerns about their mental health.
Nearly a third (31%) of those surveyed say they are now more likely to retire early. while a quarter (25%) are considering taking a break from work. And about one in six (17%) said they would like to work in another country.
“The combination of how to deal with the epidemic and years of low investment left me indifferent. I’m not just thinking of quitting my job. But also the country,” Danny Leigh, a radiologist from Cumbria, England, told The Guardian.
Covid increases existing problems
But the pandemic is just the latest in an already ill health system.
chronic lack of funds long working hours staff shortage Not to mention medical work with emotional and mental problems. For years, healthcare systems around the world and their key employees have been undermined.
Harry Sever Rance Assistant Professor at the clinic, said: “The severity of the pandemic strain of cattle bail in many cases made the decision to go for career changes are much stronger. Duke University School of Medicine He said he had heard directly from several medical professionals who were reconsidering their careers.
In fact, one US survey that was carried out in 2018 before the pandemic Almost half (48%) of physicians said they planned to change careers due to intense workload (80%), burnout (78%) and pessimism about the future of medicine (62%). Half (49%) said they would not recommend medicine as a career for their own children.
The dismissal was said to be in the interests of the government. public and private medical institutions And the public health practitioners themselves are increasingly conflicted. which makes the system vulnerable to “There was another pandemic. or other economic, political or social turmoil.”
Advice for those considering a career move
Still, the noble and rewarding factor that has brought people into the medical field cannot be ignored.
Last year, though, the pandemic diverted some attention from the medical profession. But it still attracts many people.
David Skorton, President and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, said: “It’s a joy to see more and more students wishing to pursue careers in medicine to serve their communities and make a difference,” said the 2020 academic year.
meanwhile A large personal investment in a medical career can make the decision to change coursework more difficult.
To that end, Severance advises current health care professionals who are reconsidering their careers to avoid making impulsive decisions in response to the pandemic. But he recommends thinking of a few key factors first:
- Identify the problem or issue that caused your dissatisfaction and determine if there is a solution.
- If not, clearly state what you’re looking for in your next role. which may reduce working hours less stress different work schedule Or a completely different line of work. If possible, find a way to experiment with the side.
- Next, think of any additional finances or training. that you may need to change And are you willing to reduce wages?
- Finally, think about how those changes will affect your personal life and your plans for the future.
For many people, plague can act as a barrier to a successful career. But for former nurse Williams, she was pleased with her decision to reinvent her health care skills. And she doesn’t think she’ll be back in the ward anytime soon.
“I discovered a new way. To experience life outside the hospital and found great satisfaction with my new career direction,” she said.
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