JUCM noted some time ago that the COVID-19 pandemic has been taking a toll on urgent care workers (see The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Making Burnout Worse for Physicians Already in Crisis). Now a new report published by JAMA Network Open is providing data bearing that out—along with a possibly surprising nuance. Childcare challenges and other issues related to the pandemic have amounted to increased stress and burnout, leaving an ever-growing number of healthcare providers looking for ways to reduce their clinical hours or even leave their jobs to get some relief. The survey asked participants to rate their level of childcare stress (CSS) as well as their experience with fear of exposure to COVID-19 and related transmission, anxiety, depression, workload, and single-item measures of burnout due to the pandemic. The results showed that 21% of the 58,408 respondents were experiencing CCS—and that those with CCS had a 115% greater risk for anxiety or depression and 80% greater risk for burnout compared with respondents who did not report CCS. As such, the authors concluded that “CCS was disproportionately described across different subgroups of [healthcare workers] and was associated with anxiety, depression, burnout,” and other concerns. Conversely, urgent care has gotten a reputation for being relatively family-friendly compared with some other settings. For example, UCs tend to be open when other businesses are not, possibly allowing more peace of mind for a clinician whose children are safe at home with the other parent. Might that make it a more appealing prospect than primary care or the ED for clinicians who are also parents?
Concerns on the Homefront Could Amp Up the Pressure on (at Least Some) Healthcare Workers