A new study published in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine warns that health care providers may be experiencing increased burnout due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cleveland Clinic anesthesiologist and study co-author Dr. Praveen Chahar said provider burnout isn’t new, but dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has caused even more stress.
“One of the biggest reasons of increased stress in healthcare providers was a fear of getting infected themselves and a fear of infecting their loved ones,” he said.
Chahar said a factor in that fear was a lack of personal protective equipment meant to protect health care providers from exposure to the virus.
He said doctors need to know their limits and recognize burnout, because the increased stress could lead to self-harm.
“It’s very important to take care of yourself,” he said. “You can’t take care of anyone else unless you take care of yourself.”
He said in addition to potentially leading to self-harm or suicide for health care providers, burnout can lead to higher rates of medical error.