NEHA COVID-19 Environmental Health Workforce Needs Assessment II Report

8 IMPACTS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON THE EH WORKFORCE (continued) Figure 12. Respondents Reporting Inadequate Provision of PPE by Workforce Category BURNOUT IN THE EH WORKFORCE There was a substantial number of respondents who agreed or strongly agreed (74% and 67%, respectively) that they are experiencing burnout symptoms, including feeling more emotionally exhausted and feeling worn out at the end of the working day. Other symptoms of burnout reported include feeling that every working hour is tiring, feeling exhausted thinking about another day at work, and feeling frustrated about their work. As burnout symptoms progressed, respondents tend to agree or strongly agree more (Figure 13). Figure 13. Respondent Level of Agreement With Burnout Symptoms in the EH Workforce Most respondents across workforce categories feel emotionally exhausted (Figure 14). In terms of being emotionally exhausted, 100% of respondents from U.S. territory EH programs agreed, followed by 80% from local EH programs, 74% from the Uniformed Services, and 72% from state EH programs. Furthermore, 67% of respondents from tribal EH programs report emotional exhaustion followed by 64% of respondents from federal EH programs. A similar trend is presented in Figure 15, which shows the percentage of respondents who reported their level of agreement with being emotionally exhausted by workforce size. As these data indicate, the EH workforce is experiencing high levels of burnout due to COVID-19. These feelings were expressed throughout the survey in respondent comments. The following comments exemplify the burnout and stress felt among the EH workforce. “The entire staff, including EH, is incredibly burnout and stressed. We are all feeling the heavy weight of competing priorities and not being able to get work done due to the response work that has to be done.” 16 23 20 25 0 5 7 0 10 20 30 Local EH Program State EH Program Federal EH Program Tribal EH Program U.S. Territory EH Program Uniformed Services Other Respondents (%) 74 67 54 44 38 27 0 20 40 60 80 Feel More Emotionally Exhausted Feel Worn Out at the End of the Working Day Feel Burnt Out Because of Work Work Is Frustrating Exhausted in Morning at Thought of Another Day at Work Feel That Every Working Hour Is Tiring Respondents Who Agree or Strongly Agree (%)