Women hospitalists often juggle a lot – between their career, raising children, and playing a vital role within their family, finding the proper work-life balance can be a challenge. Add in a pandemic, school closures and impromptu homeschooling, changes in health care protocol, layoffs, and other challenges, and it is easy to see just how difficult the last year and a half has been – especially for women in the workplace. For hospitalists, things only sped up. As essential workers, finding time to pursue anything outside of work has been overwhelming during the coronavirus crisis. Many female hospitalists were given new responsibilities and leadership roles during the pandemic. Luckily, many meetings became virtual, so despite the rise in many other challenges, there seemed to be a little reprieve in that area.
According to Today’s Hospitalist, a large percentage of female hospitalists say that although the last several months have been difficult, their sense of purpose and direction has improved greatly. And although it has been tiring, weathering the storm has ultimately made them stronger.
With added stressors at home due to childcare needs and even spousal unemployment, many female hospitalists have had to rearrange their schedules to accommodate for their circumstances along with their energy levels. A Medscape survey this year found that 51% of women physicians reported being burned out, compared to 37% of men. In an effort to to avoid burnout, female hospitalists have utilized resources available to them such as taking virtual meetings at home, working nocturnist shifts to spend more time with their families during the day, and opting for virtual conferences and grand rounds instead of spending extra time at the hospital. A few positives that have come from this are that many female hospitalists are utilizing the time they would have spent commuting instead on research and medical investigation.
However, many challenges remain. Physical demand, wearing PPE for the entire duration of a shift (every shift), anxiety, fear of bringing infection back to family members and other patients, prioritizing care, and coping with the emotional discouragement of caring for so many suffering patients with poor outcomes. And for those who take on the responsibility of primary caregiver at home, female hospitalists have been overloaded more than ever.
Much remains to be known regarding COVID-19 and how it truly affected and continues to affect women health care workers and hospitalists. However it pans out in the end, one thing is for certain: supporting and protecting our valued female hospitalists and health care workers during this critical time is of utmost importance.
Learn More About Advanced Care Hospitalists (ACH)
ACH is a Lakeland-based hospitalist group providing comprehensive patient care in community hospitals across Central Florida. Our providers are highly skilled, board-certified internal medicine specialists who are available around-the-clock to meet the care needs of patients from hospital admission through discharge. Post-discharge from the hospital, we continue overseeing patient care for 30 days.
We’ve found that continued care coordination ensures more accurate medication reconciliation, improved compliance with discharge plans, better scheduling of follow-up visits, and fewer hospital readmissions. Our providers do everything in their power to make sure our patients receive the compassionate and comprehensive care they need to promote healing and prevent a second hospital admission.
For more information about our services and our practice, please contact Advanced Care Hospitalists at 863-816-5884 or fill out a contact form online.