Healthcare Workers Are Stressed About Money, New Survey Shows

For healthcare workers, 2022 may have been a breaking point, with new levels of burnout among doctors and nurses. A flight out of traditional healthcare jobs is only further stretching the remaining healthcare workforce and in turn, contributing to more burnout.

Adding to long hours and staffing shortages, a new survey shows that financial woes are on many healthcare workers’ worry lists.

A Harris Poll commissioned by IntelyCare (a healthcare workforce management platform) and DailyPay (an on-demand pay platform), released earlier this month, surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults, including 200 healthcare workers. Three-quarters (77%) of people identified as healthcare workers were in full-time roles and 23% reported working part-time.

The survey findings showed that personal finances are affecting the mental health and well-being of many healthcare workers. A majority (79%) of healthcare workers said they are at least somewhat worried that changes in the broader economy, such as inflation and the threat of recession, will impact their personal finances in the next six months.

Two-thirds (65%) said they already live paycheck-to-paycheck and nearly half (48%) said they expect to need a short-term loan in the near future.

About half (52%) of healthcare workers surveyed said they feel less confident about their personal finances than they did a year ago. Compared to last year, more than half report feeling more worried about paying for groceries (58%), rent or mortgage (57%), gas (56%), and utilities (53%).

Financial anxiety hits particularly hard during the holiday season. Sixty-two percent of healthcare workers surveyed said they worried about having enough money to pay for holiday gifts and food.

To make ends meet, nearly one-third (30%) of healthcare workers said they plan to spend less on day-to-day expenses. Nearly as many (27%) said they would work more hours at their current job and 20% said they plan to moonlight to earn extra money.

These findings are consistent with a prior survey of nurses, in which nearly one in five (17%) reported having a side job to supplement their income and help pay off debts. Thirty-nine percent of nurses in that survey said low wages was their top frustration with the nursing profession.

Healthcare workers are more stressed out about managing their personal finances than the general population. More than two-thirds (68%) of healthcare workers said they find managing their personal finances to be stressful, compared with 56% of all adults. (Healthcare workers also reported being stressed about work at higher rates than the overall pool of respondents—48% of healthcare workers said work causes them stress compared with 26% overall.)

A majority of healthcare workers said that stress about their personal financial situation has negatively impacted their sleep (64%), their mental health (59%), their self-esteem (56%), their physical health (53%), and their personal relationships at home (53%). About 40% of healthcare workers said their financial stress negatively affected their productivity and relationships at work compared with just about one-quarter of respondents overall.

In contrast, salaried workers in the survey who do not work in the healthcare industry were significantly more likely to report that their personal financial situation had no negative impact on other aspects of their lives in the past year. More than one-third (36%) of non-healthcare salaried workers reported no negative impacts due to personal finances, compared with just 29% of healthcare workers.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of healthcare workers said they would feel less stressed financially if they could track their wages on a daily basis.

Despite high levels of financial stress, 58% of healthcare workers surveyed said they would be willing to take a pay cut in exchange for more flexible working hours. Some are especially invested in better work-life balance: one in three said they would be willing to take a 10% pay cut or more for increased flexibility.


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