Experiences of a Health System’s Employees During COVID-19

This survey study examined the career development, productivity, childcare needs and likelihood of leaving the workforce among employees at an academic medical center during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Delaney, et al. (2021) sought to identify and address the career development, work culture, and childcare needs of faculty, staff, and trainees at an academic medical center during a pandemic. For this survey study, conducted between Aug. 5 and Aug. 20, 2020, a Qualtrics survey was emailed to all faculty, staff, and trainees at University of Utah Health, an academic health care system that includes multiple hospitals, community clinics, and specialty centers. Participants included 27 700 University of Utah Health faculty, staff, and trainees who received a survey invitation. Data analysis was performed from August to November 2020.

A total of 5,030 participants completed the entire survey; 3,738 (75%) were women; 4,306 (86%) were White or European American; 561 (11%) were Latino or Latina (of any race), Black or African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; and 301 (6%) were Asian or Asian American. Of the participants, 2,545 (51%) reported having clinical responsibilities, 2,412 (48%) had at least 1 child aged 18 years or younger, 3,316 (66%) were staff, 791 (16%) were faculty, and 640 (13%) were trainees. Nearly one-half of parents reported that parenting (1148 participants [49%]) and managing virtual education for children (1171 participants [50%]) were stressors. Across all participants, 1,061 (21%) considered leaving the workforce, and 1,505 (30%) considered reducing hours. Four hundred forty-nine faculty (55%) and 397 trainees (60%) perceived decreased productivity, and 2334 participants (47%) were worried about COVID-19 impacting their career development, with 421 trainees (64%) being highly concerned.

The researchers say it is imperative that medical centers support their employees and trainees during this challenging time.

Reference: Delaney RK, et al. Experiences of a Health System’s Faculty, Staff, and Trainees’ Career Development, Work Culture, and Childcare Needs During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(4):e213997. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.3997

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