‘Heroes of the Pandemic’ Underpaid, understaffed, and overworked, survey shows

May 16, 2023

Nursing home, health center and hospital workers hardest hit, with 92% citing their facilities as short-staffed over the past year

QUINCY, MA – May 16, 2023 – A week after more than 300 members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers met with state and city officials about the crisis in healthcare, a new survey of workers shows deep concern with staffing, burnout and unsafe working conditions in nursing homes, health centers, and hospitals.

Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) and home health aides surveyed showed higher rates of job satisfaction and less burnout but cited low wages as a strong concern within homecare. Both homecare workers and the facility-based workers at nursing homes, health centers, and hospitals said finding childcare was an ongoing issue.

The survey comes at a time when healthcare staffing is in crisis, with long waiting lists for home care, jammed emergency rooms and eight-hour emergency room wait times.

In fact, 87% of facility-based staffers reported feeling burnt out or exhausted and 74% say healthcare in Massachusetts is on the wrong track. Only 39% of nursing home and hospital workers said they ruled out other careers outside of healthcare.

What makes this even more ominous is the recent result of a survey of physicians showing that one of the largest contributors to doctor burnout is the understaffing of hospital frontline workers like those in the 1199SEIU survey.

The survey comes on the heels of hundreds of frontline workers from Springfield, Worcester, Brockton, Cape Cod and other regions rallying at the State House and Boston City Hall calling for better pay and working conditions and urging the pass of the  1199’s legislative agenda, including An Act to Improve Quality and Oversight of Long-Term Care