H1N1 and Health Workforce

Source: Alex McEllistrem-Evenson, Healthcare Workforce News, November 2009

Pandemic places stress on health care systems and staff in surprising and complex ways.

Little attention, however, has been paid by the media to the certain challenges and controversies faced by health care providers, clinicians, administrators, and other members of the health workforce who must, by necessity, deal with this pandemic on the front lines.

There are health concerns that arise any time health care providers have to deal with viral infections on a broad scale, and controversies about mandatory employee vaccinations and required time off have surfaced in many facilities. There are more subtle issues as well, which only emerge when talking directly to practitioners and administrators. In that regard, increased employee stress levels, broader needs for employer-sponsored daycare services, and ethical concerns which ask administrators in some areas to weigh employee safety against budget constraints are just a few of the ways that the H1N1 pandemic has trickled down through our health care system thus far.

Leave a Reply