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Posted By: Daniel Thibodeau, MHP, PA-C
January 12, 2022
The past year has seen a tremendous shift in workforce issues that profoundly impact healthcare. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 1 in 5 people in healthcare quit their job. Reported in the latest assessment from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 4.5 million people quit their job in the month of November 2021. This disturbing trend has severe implications, especially since there is already uncertainty concerning long-term healthcare trends. We may think of this from a direct perspective, with the quits impacting healthcare staffing in hospitals, offices, and clinics, but these numbers have giant tentacles that reach throughout several industries which will likely have a compounding effect on healthcare trends. For example, since this pandemic started, the supply chain issue has been quite evident and ongoing. The continued staffing shortages can have long-term implications for supply chain disruption on products used in healthcare like pacemakers, masks, and medications. This deficit can lead to significant disruptions that impact health equity and access.
As healthcare providers, we must consider these trends and think about how this changes our approach to patient care. Will we have the same luxuries from the past, or will we have to modify our treatment approach because we no longer have resources readily at our disposal? Change in medicine is not necessarily new—each day we see new research regarding treatments and technologies for various diseases. However, how we continually adapt to the pandemic and economic changes will have a large effect on how well we enter a "new normal" that may have impacts for years to come.
- Masson G. About 1 in 5 healthcare workers have left medicine since the pandemic began—here's why. www.beckershospitalreview.com/workforce/about-1-in-5-healthcare-workers-have-left-medicine-since-the-pandemic-began-here-s-why.html. Accessed Jan 11, 2022.
- US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job openings and labor turnovers – November 2021. www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/jolts.pdf. Accessed Jan 11, 2022.