Medical professionals have long complained of the constant discomfort of working in an intensive care unit.
Many feel that the isolation is a barrier to getting a proper diagnosis and treatments, and some even feel that they’re not being adequately treated.
But the recent study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, has shed some light on the discomfort that is occurring.
According to the study, about 75% of doctors felt uncomfortable with the conditions in their offices.
“The majority of respondents reported that the atmosphere of the office is uncomfortable, and this was especially true of the senior physicians who were more likely to be identified by patients,” the authors write.
The researchers found that there were three major factors that were significantly correlated with discomfort, with the greatest correlation being a lack of space in the office.
“Surprisingly, physicians felt the least comfortable when there was a shortage of space,” they wrote.
“Specifically, physicians reported that they felt that they were being exposed to increased stress, which was in line with their experience with respiratory symptoms and respiratory infections.”
The authors say the lack of a shared workspace also plays a role in the discomfort, as the researchers found a correlation between the number of people working in a room and the degree of discomfort.
The lack of office space was also related to physicians’ perceived health, with some patients reporting discomfort from a lack and others reporting discomfort related to their medical history.
However, the study does not suggest that the lack is related to the lack a patient has to use a specific inhaler or mask, or the lack that patients have to wear an IV drip.
“There are many potential explanations for the lack in office space,” the study concluded.
“One potential explanation may be that the physician population is more comfortable when they are not separated from other patients,” they added.
“Another explanation could be that physician-staff interactions are more comfortable with a shared space, such as shared bathrooms and a shared room.”
The researchers say that their study is the first to examine the relationship between office space and perceived health in the medical profession, but they hope to conduct more research to better understand the reasons why doctors may be uncomfortable.
“Physicians are very important to society, and they’re making a lot of sacrifices to care for patients,” Dr. John Vassallo, a professor of occupational medicine at the U.S. College of Physicians and Surgeons, told ABC News.
“But they also work very hard to make sure that their patients are comfortable.”
He added that, “In the long term, these factors are going to be the main determinants of what we can expect in terms of the overall health of our profession.”