The preliminary results of Project METEOR’s first round of workshops indicate that administrative burdens, limited development opportunities and unhealthy work-life balance are key factors leading nurses and physicians in EU hospitals to quit their jobs.
Project METEOR aims to identify factors that contribute to whether healthcare providers consider resigning in the near future. In December 2022, researchers from KU Leuven, Spaarne Gasthuis, the Medical University of Silesia, and the University of Palermo conducted online workshops with nurses and physicians from selected hospitals in Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and Italy to gather their opinions on reasons for high turnover.
Online communication tools such as Miro boards made the workshops highly interactive and engaging, and the use of co-creation allowed for maximised stakeholder input.
Although the scope of topics discussed during the workshop varied across countries, several major issues were constant for all the four countries studied. Nurses and physicians are worn down by non-patient related work, an unhealthy work-life balance, insufficient teamwork and a lack of appreciation from supervisors. A shortage of learning and development opportunities seem to be a particular reason for frustration. Struggling to compensate for staff shortages, or working in crisis mode, is only possible for a short period. Sooner or later, it will result in higher levels of exhaustion and increased risk of burnout, fuelling intentions to leave the job.
What can improve the situation? Nurses and physicians believe that receiving annual feedback; being genuinely listened to by supervisors; and enhancing teamwork are among the simplest – yet extremely helpful – methods of lowering frustration and raising job satisfaction.
The results of the workshops were in line with those of a systemic review carried out by Project METEOR researchers, who investigated the main push and pull factors determining the intention to leave among healthcare workers.
In the next round of workshops, participants will focus on creating, experimenting with and iterating policy. Based on those inputs, the METEOR consortium will propose ways to improve job satisfaction and working conditions.
To find out more about country-specific results, methodology and limitations, read the full report from the first round of our workshops here.