Research has ratted us out. As members of the health care work force, we are failing at our own game. A study conducted by Truven Health Analytics compared the health of 740,000 hospital employees to 25 million individuals making up the general American workforce. What did they find?
The results of this study are bleak if you are a hospital employee. According to this study, 44 percent of the general workforce is considered healthy compared to just 35 percent of health care workers. Hospital employees are more likely to be diagnosed with medical conditions like asthma and depression when compared to the rest of the American workforce. Hospital employees are also a whopping 46 percent more likely to be obese. Additionally, hospital employees are less likely to receive preventative health screenings like cholesterol testing, mammograms and colonoscopies.
These results seem unexpected but authors of the study say they aren’t surprised by their findings. Dr. Mike Taylor, national business-medical leader for Truven Health, states “Although we can’t say for certain, some theories are that hospital workers are very much involved in patient care and sometimes at the expense of themselves”.
Regardless of the reasoning behind our poor health, the healthcare workforce needs to get in gear. We must practice what we preach. You wouldn’t get your hair done by a stylist who personally sports an uneven cut or take exercise advise from a cellulite-ridden aerobics instructor. So why are we expecting our patients to make healthy lifestyle changes when we aren’t performing ourselves? Yes, working in health care is challenging. But so are many other careers. Let’s hang up the excuses and instead dig the old gym clothes out of the back of our closets.
Why do you think we as the health care workforce are failing in regards to our own personal health? Do you think a change is necessary?