January 25, 2022 | 5 min read
Looking To Leave Patient Care? 5 Questions To Ask First


It is no surprise that clinicians are suffering severe burnout and emotional distress as the healthcare system faces major staffing shortages. Nearly half a million healthcare workers have quit their jobs since February of 2020, citing insufficient staffing levels, demanding workloads, and the emotional toll of the job as key drivers. As the pandemic continues to challenge even the most resilient of people, this level of unprecedented turnover is expected to rise. If you’re a healthcare worker on the front lines, you may be one of many considering parting ways with clinical work—but before you leave patient care behind for good, ask yourself these five questions:

[Resource] 2022 Healthcare Hiring Outlook

What made you choose to be a clinician?

“As a clinician, you fill a role as a patient advocate—having a direct impact on your patient and their families’ lives,” says Steffanie Ngo-Hatchie, Managing Director. “Before making a decision to leave patient care, consider what made you join in the first place. Patient care can be very rewarding and meaningful as you connect with those you help and see first-hand the impact of your work.” There may be additional reasons you chose patient care, and you may not be ready to leave that behind for a different line of work.

Is it your manager or the work you’re doing?

Many healthcare workers have quit their jobs during the pandemic because they disagreed with the way their organizations acted. Before making the decision the leave patient care, think about if switching organizations would benefit you. While your current employer may not be providing a healthy working environment, that doesn’t mean all facilities are operating that way.

What are the financial implications of leaving your clinical work behind?

If your goal is to leave clinical work behind, you must consider the financial implications of your decision. As a clinician, the compensation may be more favorable than another line of work, and there may be opportunities to earn additional income by working overtime or in a more flexible type of role. Would leaving these opportunities behind have an economic impact on your life?

Read also: 4 Ways To Start A Career In Travel Nursing

Will you be fulfilled in a different type of role?

“Working directly with patients can be very engaging as you have the ability to learn something new daily, try different patient care delivery models, and see how your work directly impacts society,” says Steffanie.

Before you leave clinical work, consider if you’ll be fulfilled doing something else. Will you lose the skills you once enjoyed learning? Will you feel less engaged with your work? Will you miss working directly with your patients?

Will you feel differently after the pandemic ends?

With the pandemic still looming over us, it may be hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Before deciding to leave patient care, know that these times of uncertainty will eventually pass. Many healthcare organizations know there is work to be done in terms of rebuilding the mental health of clinicians, addressing work-life balance by minimizing workload strains, and adjusting staffing levels and work environments. While we’re not there yet, the pandemic will eventually be behind us, and as the healthcare workplace evolves, you should consider what environment you want to be working in when it is.

Interested in making a move? Check out our website for our open roles in healthcare.

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