80% of Health Care Patients Report Clinician Stressed and Overwhelmed During Their Visit

80% of Health Care Patients Report Clinician Stressed and Overwhelmed During Their Visit

Health care workers are experiencing a greater workload and mental health burden amid the pandemic
Tired health care worker taking a break outdoors

Although health care workers have generally been recognized as the selfless heroes of American society, new survey results from health tech company Wheel paint a concerning picture about the current state of American health care and the clinicians that provide them.

Over the past year, 80% of adults in the US said that their doctor or nurse seemed stressed and overwhelmed during one of their appointments. Another 70% were concerned about the high levels of stress and exhaustion they observed in their care providers.

Care providers feeling stressed and burned out amid COVID-19 pandemic

A previous survey from health care company MDVIP found that about a third of women feel that their health care provider doesn't give them the attention they seek during their checkups — a phenomenon that appears to be growing among all U.S. consumers amid the stress of the pandemic.

In fact, 1 in 4 survey participants noted that they had a recent health care visit that felt rushed, while 1 in 3 believe that their quality of care may have been affected by clinician burnout.

Meanwhile, the health care issues caused by the pandemic (as well as people's actions during the health crisis) are only increasing the stress levels of care providers. The Wheel survey found that:

  • 3 in 5 respondents agree that clinicians aren't being celebrated or recognized as "heroes" like they were at the beginning of the pandemic
  • 2 in 3 respondents agree that the general public's resistance to taking basic precautions like wearing masks could be contributing to clinician burnout

A separate survey from Marathon Health also revealed that, unsurprisingly, workers are suffering from mental health issues at a greater rate than before the pandemic and are interested in better access to services that address these concerns.

In the meantime, however, almost 1 in 3 Wheel respondents have relied on their care providers for these issues, instead of meeting with a trained mental health specialist.

And according to the Wheel survey, 1 in 8 respondents said that their doctor or nurse admitted to mental health issues of their own during their health care appointment. This additional mental load on a group of people already pushed to their limits by the crisis may have dire consequences for the future of American health care.

"Our health care workers are reeling from an incomprehensible amount of trauma, burnout and grief," says Michelle Davey, CEO and co-founder of Wheel. "This survey demonstrates our failure to provide clinicians with the support and relief they deserve is harming the overall health of our country."

The current state of health care is thinning the ranks of health care providers in the future

With the way that health care workers have been treated during the COVID-19 crisis, it's little wonder that Americans are becoming less interested in joining the ranks of medical professionals in the future.

Wheel's survey findings show that:

  • 1 in 4 respondents personally know a doctor or nurse that would switch careers if they could
  • 1 in 3 respondents don't believe medical school is worth the investment
  • 40% of respondents don't want their children to become a doctor or nurse

Methodology: On behalf of Wheel, PureSpectrum conducted a survey of 2,000 US adults, asking how they have been impacted by clinician burnout.