Burnout Among Health Care Workers Continues. Here’s What to Do

Dr. Marc Moss sits down with Emily Davies to discuss health worker burnout and a lot more.

Dr. Marc Moss

Burnout among health care workers is at an all-time high. And while there has been progress in curbing the COVID pandemic, there seems to be no respite for those working in health care. On this episode of CU on the Air, host Emily Davies talks with Dr. Marc Moss from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, who studies burnout syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder and wellness among critical care health professionals, specifically ICU nurses.

Dr. Moss is also the Roger S. Mitchell Professor of Medicine and head of the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and the director of the Colorado Resiliency Arts Lab.

  • At the start of the pandemic, people realized that health care providers are there to help; the providers realized this is what they’ve been training for. Everyone bonded together behind that common vision.
  • Fatigue with the month-over-month continuation of the pandemic has left people disillusioned. Providers are still battling COVID-19 at high levels; the public is weary of hearing about it.
  • Health provider burnout is exacerbated by uncertainty. The need for ER care and intensive care units can fluctuate daily or hourly.
  • Health care professionals are threatening to leave – and some are leaving – the profession. This puts more strain on the remaining professionals to cover critical care patients.
  • The CU College of Nursing graduates about 500 nurses annually, which – along with other CU Anschutz graduates entering the profession – is very helpful to the pipeline.
  • Moss discusses the symptoms of burnout: what to look for in a loved one, colleague and oneself and some helpful steps to take.
  • The Colorado Resiliency Arts Lab (or CORAL) at the University of Colorado School of Medicine blends arts and medicine for better outcomes, such as creative art therapies.
  • As the Roger S. Mitchell Professor of Medicine and head of the Division, Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, Dr. Moss researches and treats acute respiratory distress syndrome, neuromuscular dysfunction in critically ill patients who require mechanical ventilation and more.
  • Dr. Moss outlines some advancements in treating people with ARDS, including some that have come from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • How can you help our health care workers? “People want to feel appreciated and supported in anything. If you know, people that are health care professionals, I think just reaching out to him and ask him how you’re doing and letting people know you’re thinking about them. And that’s an easy first step and gets back a little bit to those signs in neighborhoods at the beginning of the pandemic,” Dr. Moss.