HealthDay News — Turnover rates are returning to prepandemic levels across most groups of health care workers, according to a study published online April 8 in JAMA Health Forum.
Bianca K. Frogner, Ph.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and Janette S. Dill, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, used data from the Current Population Survey (125,717 unique health care workers; 2019 to 2021) to identify which health care workers had the highest risk for exiting the health care workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The researchers found that health care turnover rates peaked in postperiod 1 (April 2020 to December 2020) but largely recovered by postperiod 2 (January 2021 to October 2021), except among long-term care workers and physicians. There was a fourfold difference observed in turnover rates between physicians and health aides or assistants. Additionally, rates were higher for health care workers with young children (younger than 5 years) and for both sexes (but highest among women). Persistently higher turnover rates were seen among American Indian/Alaska Native/Pacific Islander workers, while White workers had persistently lower rates and Black and Latino workers experienced the slowest job recovery rates.
“Given the high demand for long-term care workers, targeted attention is needed to recruit job-seeking health care workers and to retain those currently in these jobs to lessen turnover,” the authors write.