Frontline Medical Workers Had Been Suffering From Burnout Since Before The Pandemic

Brooke Katz reports in today's The Ones For Wellness.

Video Transcript

- A new study found that frontline medical workers were suffering from burnout long before the pandemic even hit, and that can lead to very many medical errors. Our Brooke Katz has the details in today's Ones for Wellness.

PERLA SANCHEZ-PEREZ: It was at times very emotionally draining.

BROOKE KATZ: As a critical care nurse, Parkland Hospital's Perla Sanchez-Perez knows that stress is part of the job.

PERLA SANCHEZ-PEREZ: You would see nurses who would stay after, do 13 hours, 14 hours, just because they wanted the best possible outcome for that patient.

BROOKE KATZ: But this past year tested their resilience.

PERLA SANCHEZ-PEREZ: We were the first ones to see them when they came in, and the last ones to see them whenever they passed away. We were the people who held their hand at their very last moment.

BROOKE KATZ: A new study by Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found that the stress and anxiety caused by the job leads to severe burnout.

BERNADETTE MELNYK: They can not pour from an empty cup.

BROOKE KATZ: Bernadette Melnyk, Ohio State's Chief Wellness Officer, conducted the study before the pandemic began researchers found about two in five critical care nurses nationwide reported depressive symptoms, while more than half experienced anxiety. More than 60% rated their physical health a 5 or lower on a 10-point scale. The study found these poor health scores directly correlated with an increase in self-reported medical errors.

BERNADETTE MELNYK: These errors are made by very dedicated, caring, committed people who are experiencing their own symptoms of depression or poor physical health.

BROOKE KATZ: Melnyk says it's critical that hospitals offer support such as counseling, mindfulness coaching, as well as pet therapy to help nurses take care of themselves.

- That's it.

- Yes, he does.

BROOKE KATZ: Because taking care of frontline workers is taking care of us all. Brooke Katz, CBS 11 News.