Healthcare workers carrying signs protest for improved Covid-19 testing and workplace safety policies outside of UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles,Dec. 9, 2020.

In Their Own Words: COVID-19 and the Future of the Health Care Workforce

Join us on Friday, March 26th for the companion event to this symposium.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the health care workforce? And how will the pandemic reshape the health care workforce going forward?

It is not hard to find news stories about insufficient personal protective equipment, burnout, and the disproportionate toll of COVID-19 on health care workers. But on the ground, in the day-to-day, what has serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic been like for health care workers, in their own words?

We asked a broad range of health care workers — including ICU and ED nurses and physicians, medical and nursing students, emergency medical technicians, and leaders of professional groups within the health care sector — for narrative reflections on their experiences during the pandemic, with an eye toward the future: how can we learn from these experiences and better support their needs going forward?

Their answers form our latest digital symposium. Follow the conversation and share the articles in this symposium using #FutureHCW.

Physical therapist helps person in wheelchair.
I have noticed increased distress among both health care providers and family caregivers as patients are getting ready to discharge Read more
DUQUE DE CAXIAS,(BRAZIL),MAY,20,2020: doctors take care of patients with covid-19 and an intensive care unit (ICU) at hospital são josé specialized in the treatment of covid-19.
As the United States rethinks its health care priorities and investments, we must not forget the millions of nurses who Read more
ANDOVER,HAMPSHIRE/UNITED KINGDOM-NOVEMBER 6 2019:A district nurse visits a ninety-four year old patient at his home to treat for pulmonary edema and head/brain injury.
The home health care industry faces a severe shortage of workers who can answer the need of this country’s growing Read more
hospital equipment
Post-pandemic, the experience-complexity gap for nurses will continue to widen and affect intensive care unit orientation and education. Read more
Field hospital in NY during COVID-19 pandemic.
Supporting doctors and health care workers during times of crisis requires making concrete plans in advance for the worst case Read more
woman with iv in her hand in hospital. Labor and delivery preparation. Intravenious therapy infusion. shallow depth of field. selective focus
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need to rethink and reeducate our nurses on how best to protect their patients Read more
Miami Downtown, FL, USA - MAY 31, 2020: Woman leading a group of demonstrators on road protesting for human rights and against racism.
Health care institutions have a responsibility to move from performative to intentional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Read more
Hourglass
Where the money lies in medicine is in tests and procedures; not in diagnostic problem-solving skills, patient counseling, and end-of-life Read more
Sisaket,Thailand,09 April 2019;Medical staff wearing face shield and medical mask for protect coronavirus covid-19 virus in CT scan room,Sisaket province,Thailand,ASIA.
The pandemic could be a tipping point that leads many nurses to change careers, leave their jobs, or retire early. Read more
basketball on court
COVID-19 has put the lives of athletes in peril for years to come, the extent of which we likely won’t Read more
A patient is seen in the intensive care unit for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Thoracic Diseases Hospital of Athens in Greece on November 8, 2020.
I worry that my hesitancy to remove my gloves and touch my patient’s hand limits my ability to connect with Read more
DUQUE DE CAXIAS,(BRAZIL),MAY,20,2020: doctors take care of patients with covid-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated long-standing gender inequities in academic medicine. Read more
Medical staff work in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for COVID-19 patients in University Hospital of Liege in Belgium on May 5th, 2020.
Contingency plans must be developed to address future health crises and mitigate the drawbacks of a highly specialized medical workforce. Read more
woman in PPE standing at window.
Policy changes could help address the suffering this workforce has experienced and facilitate their continued care for people with serious Read more
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 06, 2020: A health care professional kneels in protest in New York City as part of the movement, 'White Coats for Black Lives,' during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We need help. If we don’t receive this supporting cast, there might not be anyone left to play the role Read more
Doctor Holding Cell Phone. Cell phones and other kinds of mobile devices and communications technologies are of increasing importance in the delivery of health care. Photographer Daniel Sone.
The reshaping of the health care landscape due to the pandemic has reduced new cancer diagnoses by over 50% for Read more
Oxygen mask as part of artificial lungs ventilation machine in surgery room, closeup.
Our health care workforce, as well as patients and their families, deserve better medicine in the sensitive and tenuous time Read more
New York City, New York / USA - May 2 2020: New York City healthcare workers during coronavirus outbreak in America.
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed persistent, wide-ranging existential threats to effective 911 emergency response. Read more
Healthcare workers carrying signs protest for improved Covid-19 testing and workplace safety policies outside of UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles,Dec. 9, 2020.
As devastating as working on the frontlines of the pandemic has been, I am hopeful that it may be a Read more
Emergency department entrance.
The institutional shortcomings we had long tolerated and adapted to were laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 05: Emergency medical technician wearing protective gown and facial mask amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 5, 2020 in New York City.
When you feel complicit in such deep structural dysfunction, it is incredibly difficult to feel heroic. Read more
LOMBARDIA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 26, 2020: Empty hospital field tent for the first AID, a mobile medical unit of red cross for patient with Corona Virus. Camp room for people infected with an epidemic.
One year after the start of the pandemic, I fear the end is not in sight. In fact, I believe Read more

Back to Symposia Library