Burnout is a prevalent problem for the health workforce, associated with employee turnover, absenteeism and depression. Burnout has also been shown to increase risk of medical errors and raises concerns about patient safety.
The COVID-19 pandemic heightened issues of burnout for health workers, especially those providing patient care. For the oral health workforce in particular, the chance of COVID-19 infection was considered high due to potential contact with respiratory aerosols and spatter during dental procedures.
A recent report by the Oral Health Workforce Research Center (OHWRC) at the University at Albany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS) in the School of Public Health explored the prevalence and effects of burnout and stress among the oral health workforce in safety-net dental organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers worked with the Health Choice Network to analyze its 2021 online survey of clinicians working in 25 community health centers across the U.S.