The United States health care system is at a critical juncture, grappling with preventable deaths, largely attributed to the toll on health care providers post-COVID-19. Despite competent professionals and advanced technologies, the system operates more like a business, with a mere 5% prioritizing optimal care for vulnerable populations.
Burnout is pervasive, affecting not just physical health but also leading to disillusionment and emotional fatigue. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates work-life challenges, blurring boundaries between professional and personal life. In this wealthiest nation, over 60% of adults have chronic disorders, and mental health issues are escalating globally. Shockingly, suicide rates, particularly among children, are soaring. Health care professionals, including pharmacists, face elevated risks, with burnout rates surpassing even those of surgeons. Physician burnout, exacerbated by bureaucratic tasks, has risen to alarming levels, impacting family life and overall well-being. Corporate America reflects discontent, with a large workforce lacking passion for their daily tasks. Millennials, in particular, face heightened stress, often attributed to work-related pressures and the economic stress of student loans. The pursuit of toxic definitions of success contributes to addiction and mental health disorders, with millions using illegal drugs or prescription medications without medical justification.
This issue extends globally, with rising antidepressant use in the United Kingdom and Europe. Work-related stress has tangible health consequences, with studies linking it to heart disease and significant economic costs due to absenteeism. Pharmacists, among the most affected by burnout, are witnessing walkouts, highlighting the strain on health care providers. The systemic issue lies in task assignments geared more towards revenue than the greater cause, resulting in dispassionate and discontented employees. The consequences extend beyond personal well-being, raising concerns about increased errors and making medical mistakes a significant cause of mortality in the United States.
Full article from Pharmacy Times here.
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