French Survey: Nurses Are Wearing Out

Most say working conditions have worsened during the pandemic
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 11, 2020 12:30 PM CDT
Poll Finds Burnout Among France's Nurses
People wearing face masks cross the street in the center of Lyon, central France, on Thursday. French authorities have placed Lyon on maximum virus alert, banning festive gatherings and requiring all bars to close.   (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

A significant number of French nurses responding to a poll say they are tired and fed up, with 37% saying that the coronavirus pandemic is making them want to change jobs. The survey published Sunday comes as COVID-19 infection rates soar across the nation. Health authorities counted nearly 26,900 new daily infections Saturday and had four more cities join Paris and Marseille in the maximum alert category: Lyon, Grenoble, Saint-Etienne in the southeast, and Lille in the north. There were nearly 5,000 new hospitalizations over the past week, with 928 of them in ICUs, and the positive rate climbed to 11%. Nearly 32,690 coronavirus deaths have been counted in France, the AP reports, but the actual number is likely far higher, due to limited testing and missed cases.

Nearly 59,400 nurses responded to the Oct. 2-7 poll, out of 350,000 in the Order of Nurses. The numbers suggested that medical facilities may not be keeping pace with the need, despite lessons that could have been learned from the height of the virus crisis in the spring. Of nurses in public establishments, 43% feel that "we are not better prepared collectively to respond to a new wave of infections." The figure rises to 46% for nurses in the private domain. About two-thirds of respondents say their working conditions have deteriorated since the start of the crisis. Burnout looms, with 57% of respondents saying they have been professionally exhausted since the start of pandemic, while nearly half say there's a strong risk that fatigue will affect the quality of patient care.

(More nurses stories.)

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