Healthcare workers have experienced a lot of challenging situations in these recent times with the global pandemic.
All over the world, healthcare workers are experiencing extreme stress and pressure to care for as many people as possible. This leads to work overload from working overtime, which can damage our essential workers’ physical and mental health. However, it is not just the pandemic that is causing healthcare employees with overloaded work.
This blog explains the different reasons why medical professionals are overworked and why this issue continues to affect workers today.
The High Workload
The first reason healthcare workers have work overload is their intensive day-to-day workload. Their rigorous workloads are so high that most physicians and nurses only get an astonishing one day of rest a week after extensive working hours, especially during this global pandemic.
The pandemic right now is causing a lot of people to be unwell, with a lot of them being critically ill that hospital beds and ventilators are needed for them to survive. These patients require constant care from medical professionals to ensure their health gets back on track. As a result, this exhausting work overload puts severe mental stress on healthcare workers who are required to save lives.
The Shortage of Workers
As the number of patients increases due to the global pandemic, there is a demand for more medical workers. However, as we have seen so far, we are not ready to face what a global pandemic has in store with how limited our medical resources are.
The most considerable shortage we have is human power itself. There are simply not enough physicians and nurses around to take care of the number of people admitted to hospitals.
This issue of overloaded work has been around for a long time, even before the pandemic started. As the years go by, people are getting more used to understanding that they can use the information they have gathered to seek medical help when needed. This has caused an upsurge of patients to flood hospitals.
However, this surge is not the same for people practicing to become medical professionals. The amount of people studying and becoming physicians and nurses is simply not enough for the public demand. Furthermore, the increased life expectancies of people are another reason for the rise of medical attention. More and more people are reaching their senior years, which increases the demand for health workers as older patients generally require more health assistance.
The inequality between the numbers of available healthcare workers and patients has caused more of the medical workforce to experience work overload since they have to compensate for the shortage of medical staff.
The COVID-19 Pandemic
Recent years have been very rough for the healthcare industry, as the number of patients has drastically risen while their workforce has not grown to compensate for the growth. However, with the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, a further strain has been put on healthcare workers.
This pandemic has caused many problems for health workers in general regarding their health and safety. The infectivity of the virus and its deadliness can’t be underestimated during these times, especially since those of older age and individuals who have compromised immune systems are the most vulnerable.
There was already an overflow of people being sent to the hospital even before the pandemic had started, but COVID-19-infected individuals quickly escalated and made this problem out of control as hospitals and workers were not prepared for the sudden surge of patients.
This, in turn, reinforces the problem of understaffed workplaces and rising patient numbers, thus causing healthcare workers to have work overload and spend more of their time taking care of extra patients.
In these recent times of the pandemic, all healthcare workers are experiencing work overload due to a combination of unfortunate events and underlying issues. Overloaded work, a scarcity of medical professionals working in the field and, of course, the pandemic adds more stress as more patients are sent to hospitals.
What other reasons could there be out there for healthcare workers to be overworked?