Pandemic left majority of care workers physically and mentally exhausted
A majority of nurses, caregivers and doctors suffer from physical or mental complaints 15 months after the start of the coronavirus crisis. "It's the combination of symptoms that particularly worries me. Burnout and post-traumatic stress disorder are lurking," Bianca Buurman of medical organization V&VN told NOS.
In a joint study, V&VN and the Federation of Medical Specialists surveyed some 7,000 healthcare professionals on their well-being. A fifth of those surveyed stated they were absent from work due to complaints in recent months, half of them for a longer period of time.
The research also found that many healthcare workers still suffer from issues such as fatigue, sleeping problems, stress, anger, or concentration problems.
In the survey, medical workers were asked about the steps needed for their successful recovery from the crisis. Holidays, restoring the work-life balance, and reducing the workload by employing more people were most frequently mentioned.
The two organizations also questioned the government’s plan to catch up on the surgery backlog this year already. "That intention is unrealistic. Care providers must first recover," said Buurman.
According to Buurman, more investments must be made in the healthcare sector. "That would mean better working conditions, more time and money for training, good career opportunities and control over work," she concluded.