Spring 2023 | Volume 104, Number 2
Health system leaders make difficult and complicated decisions every day. The process may seem routine, but rushed decisions can be shortsighted, and poor decisions can have long-term implications affecting caregivers and services to the community. Today, when transformation is imperative, reflecting on how we arrive at truly sound decisions is crucial.
ERIN ARCHER, RN
Physician burnout appears to be at an all-time high. Consider that a 2021 survey of physicians disclosed that 63% had at least one symptom of burnout, up from 38% in 2020. Levels of professional satisfaction have fallen, while levels of emotional exhaustion, depression and depersonalization (for instance, cynicism) have risen.
MARIAN C. JENNINGS, MBA
It's Spring 2040, and the U.S. population has grown by 41 million people since 2020 to over 373 million, fueled primarily by migration and longevity.1,2
The nation is more ethnically and racially diverse than ever. Until 2030, the average annual increase in U.S. population growth remained at historical levels, but has declined throughout the last decade.3
The national median age has increased from 38.5 years in 2020 to 41.5 years in 2040, which sounds small until you realize that this represents nearly 22 million more persons ages 75 years or older now than then.4
The youngest baby boomers are now 76 years old, Gen Xers are 60 to 75 years old, Millennials are 44 to 59 years old, and the oldest Gen Zers are in their forties.
Health care staffing shortages were brewing well before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Three years before the pandemic began, concern was already rising about a wave of impending retirements. More than half of all nurses were age 50 and older, and nearly a third were 60 and older, according to the American Hospital Association.1
COVID dealt a sudden blow that accelerated the crisis.
When groups of health care chaplains get together, Connolly Huddleston stands out. Very often, she's the only millennial in the room. She loves the work, but "I get a lot of attention," due to her youth, she says. "I think there's a little pressure on me, too. People say, 'You know how to help us,' and I don't know how to begin."
LISA MUSGRAVE, RN, BSN, MHA
If you have chronic health care needs, perhaps due to diabetes or high blood pressure, you may often find yourself frustrated by the incredibly complex health care system. You may be a working member of the "sandwich generation," caring for both children at home and elderly parents with increasing health care needs of their own. Managing the health care services needed by you and your loved ones likely includes visits to multiple locations, often telling your stories repeatedly. Your goal: get the care you need and get home.
At 35, Steven Harris feels he has a new lease on life. The Gonzales, Louisiana, native dropped from 520 pounds in 2021 to his current weight of 180 pounds, following a duodenal switch surgery — a bariatric procedure that modifies both the stomach and small intestine — overseen by Philip Schauer, MD, director of Metamor, a metabolic institute in Baton Rouge.