The Great Resignation is hitting healthcare in full force. Healthcare workers are quitting in droves. It is heart wrenching to witness the demise of the profession of nursing and to know that many of my colleagues would not recommend the profession of medicine to their children. More than half a million people have left their jobs in healthcare since the start of the pandemic. Team members aren’t quitting because they don’t care. They are stepping back from clinical roles for which they had great passion and where they spent years or decades in training because of systems issues.
The mass exodus from the profession of nursing and medicine is a global issue. To end the Great Resignation in healthcare we need urgent collaboration amongst key stakeholders and policy makers to recognize and rectify the need for systemic safety and well-being for all healthcare workers.
To support a vibrant and engaged workforce now and in the future, healthcare leaders need to expand their definition of team member safety to include:
Redefining team member safety and creating new standards that address the intersection of these three domains will create an environment where team members can practice at the peak of their license and compassion and know that they and their families will be safe.
In my newly released report, “Protecting the Safety and Well-being of our Nation’s Healthcare Workforce,” I outline the specific strategies and tactics that leaders must embrace to create systemic safety and well-being.
This is not about building well-being around the edges. This is about re-evaluating and revolutionizing the systems, processes, technologies, and cultures that are causing experienced and dedicated clinicians and other healthcare team members to leave their chosen profession. This is about removing the barriers to team member safety and well-being before they remove themselves. This is about saving our nation’s healthcare system by building an optimal healing environment and infrastructure in which team members will want to spend the rest of their careers.