April 19, 2012 - Job stress negatively impacts work quality; for physicians, this means impacting the quality of patient care. A survey from CompHealth, the founder and leading provider of locum tenens, finds doctors are feeling stressed, not getting enough proper rest, and experiencing monotony on the job.
The survey found 63 percent of physicians were concerned about work quality and patient care due to professional stress, but there are solutions both physicians and facilities can take to help with daily on-the-job pressure. One solution is locum tenens, a term that describes a physician who fills an open position in a medical facility for a specific period of time.
Health care facilities can help alleviate workplace stress by supplementing their permanent staff with locum tenens, giving full-time staff more opportunities for time off and set work days. Additionally, physicians who choose to practice as locum tenens can enjoy flexible scheduling based on where, when, and how much they want to work. This gives them the opportunity to experience new office environments, diverse patient cases, and more chances for proper rest and time off.
"Enabling physicians to control their work schedule helps reduce stress, ensuring they are working to the best of their ability when they are examining patients," said Melissa Byington, President of CompHealth locum tenens. "It's startling that 67 percent of all physicians we surveyed are often forced to choose between resting and effectively serving patients. As a locum tenens practitioner, physicians are less likely to have to make that choice."
Physician Stress Test
The CompHealth survey also found that:
- Hospital physicians are less likely to rest than private practice physicians (74 percent vs. 64 percent respectively choose between rest and effective patient care)
- Physicians surveyed believe patient care would improve if their peers and they themselves had routine changes to avoid monotony and burnout (45 percent) as well as the opportunity to work on new cases (28 percent)
- Twenty-five percent of physicians thought patient care would improve if they had the opportunity to aid underserved areas and 10 percent would even like the challenge of working on high-risk cases, to improve their patient care
The Locum Tenens Solution
Additionally, the survey found 92 percent of physicians were positive about the practice of locum tenens making it a viable option to explore for many practitioners. Locum tenens physicians provide a solution to facilities with open positions due to increase in demand, staff vacations, employee training and more. The physicians arrive certified, credentialed, refreshed and motivated to serve their new communities—benefiting the patient and resulting in better patient outcomes.
The CompHealth Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 U.S. physicians ages 25+, between February 3rd and February 17th 2012, using an email invitation and an online survey.
Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. A full methodology is available upon request.
Founded in 1979, CompHealth is the nation's leading provider of temporary and permanent physician staffing, as well as a leading provider of temporary and permanent allied health staffing. CompHealth prides itself on having the best people to help provide the best healthcare and is also a proud member of the CHG Healthcare Services family of companies, currently ranked No. 9 on FORTUNE magazine's list of "100 Best Companies to Work For" in America. To learn more about this award-winning company and its service offerings, visit www.comphealth.com, follow us on Twitter: @comphealth, or like us on Facebook.