Sunday, November 29, 2020
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Insight you can use to beat staff shortages and burnout

Fitness   Mentor/Mentee   Sleep  Stress Reduction

Today’s Read: 3 minutes

We hope you had a fantastic Halloween and didn’t come across anything too scary. We start this week hopeful for solutions to end healthcare shortages and burnout. Plus, find calm underwater.

Tomorrow is election day. We will be doing our civic duty and working the polls, so there will not be a newsletter tomorrow.

See you Wednesday.


An approach to solving healthcare shortages

In an effort to solve Virginia’s primary care and mental health care shortages, researchers at George Mason University evaluated Career and Technical Education (CTE) models and partnerships and their potential to fill community needs.

The study evaluated the Claude Moore Scholars technical education and training program model, which involves 23 school districts, five higher education institutions, and numerous employers. It identified what training, education, and collaboration practices have been most effective in bringing secondary and postsecondary students into the health workforce. 

The program’s partnerships stimulate growth in Virginia’s health workforce pipeline by:

  • building effective community partnerships between K-12 school systems, community colleges, and health care providers/employers,
  • expanding delivery of health sciences training and education programs in K-12 and postsecondary institutions, and
  • providing resources and support to educators and students in the form of communities of practice.

In the end, the researchers found that the public school systems, the community college, and the emerging employer should work with communities to identify the high-demand health occupations and then work together to resource and implement training and education programs to fill the needed positions.

Does your community help create healthcare career possibilities for students in your area? If not, how do you think programs such as this would help you (for example, staffing shortages)?

The burnout-sleep disorders connection

Healthcare professionals’ mental health affects quality of life, patient safety, healthcare expenditures, and occupational turnover. Sleep deficiency is common, thanks to rotation or extended-duration shifts, night call, and competing demands. In addition, sleep disturbances are a precursor to depression and may contribute to burnout.

So it might not be too surprising that a recent study published in JAMA found an association between sleep disorders and burnout. First,  29% of 1,047 HCPs, who attended a series of 40-minute presentations on sleep and wellness, screened positive for at least one sleep order. The most common sleep disorder was insomnia (14%), followed by obstructive sleep apnea (12%), shift work disorder (11%), and restless legs syndrome (2%). Most of these were undiagnosed and untreated.

Then, HCPs were screened for burnout; 29% had a positive result. Those with a sleep disorder had nearly a 4-fold increase in odds for experiencing occupational burnout. Researchers write that treatment of sleep disorders may provide a novel means of intervening to reduce burnout.

Working out could make you more resilient to stress

Exercise could make us happier, less stressed, and more resilient, Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., tells Shape magazine. Our muscles influence our psychological and brain health by releasing myokines into your bloodstream that improve your mood, reduce anxiety and depression, and make your brain more resilient to stress–no matter whether you are dancing, lifting weights, swimming, or walking. “On days when people exercise, stressful things take less of a toll on their well-being,” Mc Gongial said. “Not only that, regular exercise changes your brain over time and maintains brain health.” Read more of the interview here.



The percentage of Americans who place an urgent or high priority on improving our nation’s public health system, according to a recent survey by Research!America. Further, they are willing to pay $1 more per week in taxes to support an emergency public health fund to address threats like a pandemic (71%).


Aquariums can be soothing. Watch jellyfish delicately swim in and out of the frame, or enjoy the Monterey Bay aquarium’s largest exhibition, an awe-inspiring, one million-gallon tank that houses an array of sea creatures, including stingray, sharks, and turtles.

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