A look at the complete USA TODAY/Ipsos' exclusive poll of health care workers

·12 min read

This month, USA TODAY and Ipsos conducted a poll of over 1,000 health care workers, asking about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected their work and personal lives, their opinion on the federal government's response and what the future outlook of their career looks like, among other topics.

Those surveyed included doctors and dentists, registered and licensed nurses, nurse practitioners, paramedics, physician assistants, home health aides, therapists, technicians, dental hygienists and others who work in hospitals, doctors' offices, nursing homes, clinics, patients' homes and elsewhere.

THE FINDINGS:

Angry and abused, health care workers still overwhelmingly love careers, poll shows

Health care workers split on Biden, want better pay and more key takeaways

Below is the topline and methodology.

A survey of the American general population (ages 18+)

Conducted by Ipsos using KnowledgePanel®

Interview dates: Feb. 9-16, 2022

Number of interviews: 1,170

Margin of error: +/-3.8 percentage points at the 95% confidence level

NOTE: All results show percentages among all respondents, unless otherwise labeled. Reduced bases are unweighted values.

NOTE: * = less than 0.5%, - = no respondents

Annotated Questionnaire

S2. In your current job, what kind of work do you do? We appreciate your effort to pick a type of work using these U.S. Census Bureau categories even though they might not match perfectly.



Total
   
(N=1170)


Nursing, Psychiatric, or Home Health Aide


19%


Registered Nurse


19%


Licensed Practical or Licensed Vocational Nurse


5%


Medical Assistant


5%


Physician or surgeon


5%


Therapist


5%


Clinical Laboratory Technologist or Technician


4%


Diagnostic Related Technologist or Technician


4%


Health Care Support


4%


Other Healthcare Support Worker


4%


Nurse Practitioner


3%


Occupational or Physical Therapy Assistant or Aide


3%


Dental Assistant


2%


Dental Hygienist


2%


Emergency Medical Technician or Paramedic


2%


Health Technologist or Technician


2%


Pharmacist


2%


Pharmacy Aide


2%


Physician Assistant


2%


Other Health Care Practitioner


2%


Other Health Technologist or Technician


2%


Dentist


1%


Health Diagnosing or Treating Practitioner


1%


Veterinarian


1%


Veterinary Assistant or Laboratory Caretaker


1%


Health Practitioner Support Technologist or Technician


*


Massage Therapist


*


Medical Records or Health Information Technician


*


Medical Transcriptionist


*


Occupational Health and Safety Specialist or Technician


*


Optometrist


*


Phlebotomist


*


Dispensing Optician


*

1. Which of the following best describes your primary professional work setting?



Total


A hospital


38%


A doctor's office/outpatient clinic


27%


A nursing home or assisted care facility


10%


Patients' homes


8%


Pharmacy


4%


Lab


2%


School/College clinic


2%


Veterinary clinic/hospital


2%


Paramedic/Ambulance/Fire Department


1%


Prison/jail


1%


COVID testing site


*


Plasma center/Blood bank


*


Somewhere else


6%


Don't know


*


Skipped


-

2. Does your work involve direct contact with patients or their bodily fluids, or not?



Total


Yes


84%


No


16%


Don't know


-


Skipped


*

3. Do you think the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States is completely under control, mostly under control, somewhat under control or not at all under control?



Total


Completely under control


2%


Mostly under control


18%


Somewhat under control


56%


Not at all under control


21%


Don't know


3%


Skipped


-


Under control (net)


21%


Not under control (net)


76%

4. In their daily lives, do you think most Americans are taking enough precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, or not?



Total


Taking enough precautions


31%


Not taking enough precautions


61%


Don't know


8%


Skipped


-

5. Do you approve or disapprove of how the following have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Total Approve Summary



Total


Your employer


75%


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


54%


The Biden Administration


41%


American news media


20%


The American public


18%

a. The Biden Administration



Total


Approve


41%


Disapprove


40%


Don't know


18%


Skipped


*

b. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



Total


Approve


54%


Disapprove


34%


Don't know


12%


Skipped


-

c. The American public



Total


Approve


18%


Disapprove


68%


Don't know


14%


Skipped


*

d. American news media



Total


Approve


20%


Disapprove


61%


Don't know


19%


Skipped


-

e. Your employer



Total


Approve


75%


Disapprove


18%


Don't know


7%


Skipped


*

6. Do you support or oppose the following?

Total Support Summary



Total


The federal government providing N95 masks to anyone that wants one through pharmacies and health clinics


85%


The federal government mailing free at-home COVID-19 tests to anyone who wants one


83%


The federal government directing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to work with hospitals to increase bed capacity


79%


The federal government deploying military health personnel to support hospitals


78%

a. The federal government mailing free at-home COVID-19 tests to anyone who wants one



Total


Support


83%


Oppose


11%


Don't know


6%


Skipped


-

b. The federal government providing N95 masks to anyone that wants one through pharmacies and health clinics



Total


Support


85%


Oppose


9%


Don't know


6%


Skipped


-

c. The federal government deploying military health personnel to support hospitals



Total


Support


78%


Oppose


10%


Don't know


12%


Skipped


-

d. The federal government directing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to work with hospitals to increase bed capacity



Total


Support


79%


Oppose


9%


Don’t know


12%


Skipped


-

7. How satisfied are you with your current job?



Total


Very satisfied


40%


Somewhat satisfied


40%


Somewhat dissatisfied


13%


Very dissatisfied


6%


Don't know


1%


Skipped


*


Satisfied (Net)


80%


Dissatisfied (Net)


19%

8. Would you say you feel the following about going to work these days, or not?

Total Yes Summary



Total


Hopeful


59%


Motivated


59%


Optimistic


56%


Burned out


52%


Anxious


43%


Angry


21%

a. Anxious



Total


Yes


43%


No


55%


Don't know


2%


Skipped


*

b. Hopeful



Total


Yes


59%


No


30%


Don't know


11%


Skipped


*

c. Angry



Total


Yes


21%


No


76%


Don't know


3%


Skipped


*

d. Optimistic



Total


Yes


56%


No


34%


Don't know


10%


Skipped


*

e. Burned out



Total


Yes


52%


No


44%


Don't know


4%


Skipped


*

f. Motivated



Total


Yes


59%


No


34%


Don't know


7%


Skipped


*

9. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Total Agree Summary



Total


American health care workers have done an amazing job during the COVID-19 pandemic


94%


I love working in health care


73%


Politics is making my job harder


68%


If I could pick a career all over again, I would still decide to go into health care


66%


The American health care system is on the verge of collapse


39%


I am likely to leave the health care field in the near future


23%

a. American health care workers have done an amazing job during the COVID-19 pandemic



Total


Agree


94%


Disagree


2%


Don't know


4%


Skipped


-

b. I am likely to leave the health care field in the near future



Total


Agree


23%


Disagree


57%


Don't know


20%


Skipped


*

c. I love working in health care



Total


Agree


73%


Disagree


12%


Don't know


15%


Skipped


*

d. The American health care system is on the verge of collapse



Total


Agree


39%


Disagree


32%


Don't know


29%


Skipped


-

e. If I could pick a career all over again, I would still decide to go into health care



Total


Agree


66%


Disagree


16%


Don't know


18%


Skipped


*

f. Politics is making job harder



Total


Agree


68%


Disagree


18%


Don't know


14%


Skipped


*

10. Has worry or stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic caused you to experience the following in the past two months, or not?

Total Yes Summary



Total


Irritability or short temper


41%


Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much


39%


Frequent headaches or stomach aches


27%


Increased alcohol or drug use


11%

a. Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much



Total


Yes


39%


No


58%


Don't know


3%


Skipped


*

b. Frequent headaches or stomach aches



Total


Yes


27%


No


71%


Don't know


2%


Skipped


*

c. Increased alcohol or drug use



Total


Yes


11%


No


88%


Don't know


1%


Skipped


*

d. Irritability or short temper



Total


Yes


41%


No


57%


Don't know


2%


Skipped


-

11. Would you support or oppose your employer requiring all employees who work with patients to become vaccinated?



Total


Support


61%


Oppose


30%


Don't know


8%


Skipped


*

12. Do you support or oppose your employer firing employees who refuse to get vaccinated and work with patients?



Total


Support


39%


Oppose


47%


Don't know


15%


Skipped


*

13. Thinking about the way your employer is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, when it comes to the following, would you say your employer is going above and beyond, doing about the right amount, or falling short?

a. Providing additional pay for employees who are working in the most high-risk situations



Total


Going above and beyond


7%


Doing about the right amount


21%


Falling short


57%


Don't know


15%


Skipped


*

b. Providing paid sick leave for employees who have COVID-19



Total


Going above and beyond


10%


Doing about the right amount


34%


Falling short


45%


Don't know


12%


Skipped


*

c. Ensuring employees have the ability to get vaccinated



Total


Going above and beyond


39%


Doing about the right amount


46%


Falling short


8%


Don't know


7%


Skipped


*

d. Ensuring there is enough medical staff during surges



Total


Going above and beyond


8%


Doing about the right amount


33%


Falling short


50%


Don't know


10%


Skipped


*

e. Providing staff mental health support



Total


Going above and beyond


9%


Doing about the right amount


31%


Falling short


44%


Don't know


15%


Skipped


*

14. As part of your work, have you treated or provided assistance to a COVID-19 patient, or not?



Total


Yes


66%


No


28%


Don't know


7%


Skipped


*

15. Have you treated COVID-19 patients who were unvaccinated?

Base: Treated or provided assistance to a COVID-19 patient



Total
   
(N=745)


Yes


81%


No


7%


Don't know


11%


Prefer not to say


1%


Skipped


1%

16. Among the unvaccinated COVID-19 patients who you provide treatment or assistance to, have any done any of the following? Select all that apply.

Base: Treated or provided assistance to an unvaccinated COVID-19 patient



Total
   
(N=599)


Expressed skepticism about the vaccine / continued to oppose getting the vaccine


67%


Expressed regret for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine / asked for the COVID-19 vaccine


38%


The patient or family criticized the care provided by you or other health care workers


30%


Asked for unproven treatments (ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, etc.)


26%


Don't know


14%


Prefer not to say


8%


Skipped


--

17. Did any of the patients you were providing treatment or assistance to die as a result of COVID-19?

Base: Treated or provided assistance to a COVID-19 patient



Total
   
(N=745)


Yes, patient died


47%


No


32%


Don't know


16%


Prefer not to say


5%


Skipped


--

18. Have you personally received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?



Total


Yes, one dose


3%


Yes, two doses


23%


Yes, two doses plus a booster shot


63%


No


10%


Don't know


1%


Skipped


1%

19. At any point since 2020, have you tested positive for COVID-19? Select all that apply.



Total


Yes, during the omicron wave in late 2021 through 2022


18%


Yes, during the delta wave in Fall 2021


4%


Yes, during the vaccination campaign in Spring and Summer 2021


2%


Yes, during the winter surge in 2020 through early 2021


8%


Yes, during the second wave in Summer and Fall 2020


4%


Yes, during the first wave in Spring 2020


4%


No


66%


Skipped


1%

20. Which of these is your main source of news?



Total


ABC / CBS / NBC News


23%


Digital or online news


15%


Social media


11%


Public television or radio


9%


FOX News


8%


CNN


7%


New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, or Wall Street Journal


4%


MSNBC


2%


Your local newspaper


2%


Telemundo


*


Univision


*


Other


5%


None of these


14%


Skipped


*

21. If you voted in the 2020 presidential election, who did you vote for?



Total


Joe Biden


52%


Donald Trump


31%


Someone else


5%


Did not vote


11%


Skipped


1%

About the Study

This poll was conducted Feb. 9-16, 2022, by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,170 health care workers age 18 or older.

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of healthcare workers. The margin of sampling error takes into account the design effect, which was 1.72. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on other sub-samples. In our reporting of the findings, percentage points are rounded off to the nearest whole number. As a result, percentages in a given table column may total slightly higher or lower than 100%. In questions that permit multiple responses, columns may total substantially more than 100%, depending on the number of different responses offered by each respondent.

The survey was conducted using KnowledgePanel, the largest and most well-established online probability-based panel that is representative of the adult US population. Our recruitment process employs an addressed-based sampling methodology using the latest Delivery Sequence File of the USPS – a database with full coverage of all delivery points in the US. Households invited to join the panel are randomly selected from all available households in the U.S. Persons in the sampled households are invited to join and participate in the panel. Those selected who do not already have internet access are provided a tablet and internet connection at no cost to the panel member. Those who join the panel and who are selected to participate in a survey are sent a unique password-protected log-in used to complete surveys online. As a result of our recruitment and sampling methodologies, samples from KnowledgePanel cover all households regardless of their phone or internet status and findings can be reported with a margin of sampling error and projected to the general population.

The data were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race/ethnicity, education, Census region, metropolitan status, household income, and healthcare worker category. The demographic benchmarks for healthcare workers came from the 2021 March supplement of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) based on the current occupation variable in the CPS. The weighting categories were as follows:

  • Gender (Male, Female) by Age (18–34, 35-44, 45-59 and 60+)

  • Race/Hispanic Ethnicity (White Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Other or 2+ Races Non-Hispanic, Hispanic)

  • Education (Some College or below, Bachelor, Master and beyond)

  • Census Region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West)

  • Metropolitan status (Metro, Non-Metro)

  • Household Income (Under $50,000, $50,000-$74,999, $75,000-$99,999, $100,000-$149,999, $150,000+)

  • Healthcare Worker Category (Nurse, Physician or equivalent, Other Healthcare Worker)

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest Insights and Analytics company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Poll of American health care workers: USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll methodology