A thriving health care workforce ensures the health of people and of communities. Burnout among health care workers is a significant concern. Changes in the health care environment are increasing that concern:
- Staffing shortages
- Increased working hours and workloads
- Violence against health care workers
A U.S. Surgeon General’s advisory focuses on burnout. It details goals that promote the nation’s public health. HRSA's initiative supports those goals.
By supporting workforce well-being at health centers we hope to:
- Promote access to and quality of care for patients
- Increase health center workforce recruitment and retention
We’ll do this by:
- Surveying health centers to better understand workforce well-being, job satisfaction, and burnout
- Using the data to address workforce well-being at health centers
- Developing national strategies for improvement
- Delivering targeted technical assistance
- Disseminating evidence-based practices
Technical Assistance Resources
Does your health center want to promote workforce well-being and prevent burnout? These resources can help.
HRSA-funded National Training and Technical Assistance Partners
- Organizational Leadership and Resiliency Toolkit (PDF - 1 MB)
Created by the National Health Care for the Homeless Council and the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU)’s STAR² Center.
- How Compassion and Relationships Reduce Chronic Stress
Listen to or read the transcript for a podcast episode from the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium (NNCC).
- Building Resiliency: Mindful Stress Management
Watch the recording or see the slides and a handout for this NNCC webinar.
- Five Key Strategies to Help Health Centers Protect Against Staff Burnout (PDF - 497 KB)
Developed by the National Center for Farmworker Health.
U.S. Surgeon General’s Health Worker Burnout Webpage
The U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has identified health worker burnout as a priority. His webpage provides access to the full text of his advisory, and also:
- Highlights key messages from his advisory.
- Establishes actions to address health worker burnout.
- Presents tools to support those actions.
- SAMHSA’s Addressing Burnout in the Behavioral Health Workforce through Organizational Strategies (PDF - 8 MB)
- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Total Worker Health® Program
- The National Academy of Medicine’s Resource Compendium for Health Care Worker Well-being
Health Center Workforce Well-being Survey
Between November 2022 and January 2023, we fielded a survey. It measured workforce well-being, job satisfaction, and burnout at health centers. Nearly 50% of approximately 1,500 HRSA-supported health centers participated. Participating staff represent diverse workforce categories.
Results will provide baseline information about the health center workforce.
Measures of Workforce Well-being
HRSA’s survey examined the following four measures of workforce well-being.
- Job satisfaction: Sense of fulfillment working at the health center
- Engagement: Interests and connectivity to work, colleagues, and workplace
- Burnout: Feelings of emptiness, work overload, and exhaustion
- Intention to stay: Plans to stay at the health center
The data will inform HRSA’s program and policy development and training and technical assistance efforts. We will also share information with our technical assistance partners.
We will analyze data at state, regional, and national levels. We will do comparisons along other metrics (e.g., health center size, staffing, and provider type, etc.).
Spring 2023: Each participating health center will receive a dashboard of its survey data.
Summer 2023: We expect each health center to receive a final dashboard. It will compare the health center’s data to national data. We also expect to publish national data on our website.
HRSA will use survey data for targeted technical assistance. It will not be used for funding or compliance assessments.
Each participating health center will receive access to a dashboard. This dashboard is for the health center to use for its own quality improvement. It will include averages of the responses for that health center. It will not include a list of survey respondents. It will not include individual responses.
The dashboard will summarize the health center’s initial results. It may include comparisons to larger groups of respondents. For example:
- 35% of Health Center X’s staff are experiencing burnout.
- 45% of staff in State Y are experiencing burnout.
- 37% of all survey respondents nationally are experiencing burnout.
- Each health center will receive access to a dashboard. It will include a summary of the final results for that health center. It will compare those results to national, regional, and state averages.
- HRSA will share state, regional, and national dashboards with technical assistance partners on our website. These will analyze data by job categories and demographics.
These activities informed the survey design:
- Review of ~1,200 journal articles. These revealed the top contributors of burnout and low job satisfaction. They helped us establish factors that impact staff well-being.
- Listening sessions with 70+ health center staff from various workforce categories. These shed light on the dynamics that increase positive job experiences.
We checked in with health centers as we designed the survey.
- We interviewed 60+ health center staff to refine the survey questions.
- We gathered feedback from 500+ health center staff. Some helped us ensure that the data we collect means what we expect it to.
A group of more than 330 health center employees took a pilot survey online. They considered the survey’s length, usefulness, and confidentiality.
- More than 80% felt that the survey was an appropriate length. They reported that it took only about 25-30 minutes. (Health centers will be able to use H80 grant funds for staff time to take the survey.)
- More than 70% felt the survey will be “absolutely or probably useful to health centers.”
The survey was organized by these topics.
- Job Characteristics
- Experiences and Attitudes
See a complete list of survey questions in the following documents:
- Health Center Workforce Well-being Survey—English (PDF - 661 KB)
- Health Center Workforce Well-being Survey—Spanish (PDF - 362 KB)
We issued a Federal Register Notice and invited comments. See the announcement in the March 22 Primary Health Care Digest
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reviewed the survey.
JSI prepared for deployment. They set up a unique survey link for each potential respondent. (See Confidentiality for more information.)
Fall 2022 and Winter 2023
OMB approved the survey in mid-November 2022.
JSI issued the survey across groups of health centers in waves from November 2022-January 2023.
Spring and Summer 2023
We will share results with participating health centers and on our website. See more in the “Use of the results” section of this page.
Each survey respondent received a unique survey link. There is no way to associate a specific person with the results. JSI and HRSA will keep participants and answers confidential. The data will not be linked to any one person. HRSA understands that this information is private and closely held, and HRSA plans to maintain the confidentiality of this information.
Each health center will receive a dashboard of its data. This dashboard will include averages of all responses. It will NOT include:
- Names of survey respondents
- Detailed job titles or demographics that could be used to identify individuals
- Individual responses
Privacy Act Notification Statement
This information is provided pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-579), as amended, for individuals supplying information for inclusion in a system of records.
Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS), (42 USC 254b), as amended.
Purposes and Uses
The purpose of the Health Center Program is to support domestic public or private, nonprofit community-based and patient-directed organizations that provide primary health care services to the Nation’s medically underserved populations. The Health Center Workforce Well-being Survey will measure workforce well-being, satisfaction, and burnout across all health center job categories. Through this survey, staff feedback will inform HRSA’s workforce well-being initiatives and technical assistance.
Effects of Nondisclosure
Disclosure of the information sought is voluntary.