Healthcare professionals on the frontlines of care face intense demands every day: arduous shifts, the constant pressure to perform, increasing levels of responsibility, and even life or death decisions. Given these stressors, it may not be surprising to learn that healthcare workers experience a higher prevalence of burnout than the general population.
We need to help healthcare professionals—whether they are doctors, nurses, pharmacists, support staff or administrators—build resilience and enhance wellbeing so they don’t sacrifice themselves while caring for their patients.
Burnout Among Healthcare Professionals Affects Us All
When we are under stress for a prolonged period, it takes a toll on us physically and emotionally. We experience extreme fatigue, frustration, apathy, and can lose sight of what really matters. Considering the essential role that healthcare workers play in the lives of patients, these symptoms of burnout can be detrimental to us all.
Each year, 400 physicians—the equivalent of an entire medical school class—die by suicide, a rate more than two times the general population. The impact reaches far beyond the specific person and their loved ones. It also means that one million Americans lose their doctors to suicide annually.
And while not every healthcare professional who experiences burnout will take his or her own life, there are other serious consequences that reverberate through the entire healthcare ecosystem and affect workers, providers, patients and caregivers. Burnout drives cost in areas like increased turnover and retention of talent. Most importantly, burnout can negatively impact the quality of care and patient outcomes. Among surgeons experiencing burnout, there is a correlation between burnout and an increased likelihood of medical errors.
We Can Help Healthcare Professionals Build Resilience and Enhance Wellbeing
Doctors, nurses and others who devote their lives to healthcare have the power to change the world. At Johnson & Johnson, we believe that building resilience and increasing wellbeing among healthcare professionals is a crucial part of improving the health and wellness of everyone.
Through our work at Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, we’ve learned a lot about helping people develop resilience and achieve optimal performance. For more than 30 years, we’ve trained leaders of Fortune 500 companies, professional athletes and military Special Forces on how to be energized, focused and engaged during the moments that matter.
Using our expertise in behavior science, we are helping healthcare professionals build their capacity to assess and take on challenges in a way that will help to prevent burnout over the long-term. The stressors associated with working in healthcare will likely not go away. By developing and deploying solutions within hospital systems and through the Johnson & Johnson Institute, we are helping individuals, teams and organizations learn how to become more aware of stress and how to manage it effectively.
Healthcare professionals play an essential role in helping people get well and stay well. We are committed to helping them take better care of themselves and stay engaged so they can continue to make a difference by caring for their patients.