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Module 3 – Burnout and Public Health Workers

This module focuses in on why burnout matters for public health workers in particular.

Learning Objectives

After reviewing this module, you should be able to:

  • Describe the scale and scope of burnout within the public health worker population.
  • Explain multiple ways in which burnout negatively affects public health worker performance and impact.
  • Describe the business case for addressing burnout among public health workers.
Questions for Reflection and/or Discussion with your Team
  1. Sometimes preventing or reducing the impact of burnout requires leaders to advocate for their workers. Practice giving a summary of a business case for taking burnout seriously in your department or organization.
  2. Think about some of the reasons public health workers are at risk for burnout. Which of those reasons do you find to be most present in your own work environment? What are some unique risks with the work you do that perhaps were not mentioned directly in the training presentation?
  3. Many talented workers are attracted to organizations that care about their well-being. What do you think is the reputation that your organization and/or work team has for caring for its workers? In what ways, if any, would you like to see that reputation change?
Recommended Readings
  • View a summary of the findings from the de Beaumont Foundation and Association of State and Territorial Health Officials’ (ASTHO) 2021 state of the workforce survey. On this website, you can find the overall findings and the findings by region and by areas of specialty.
    • Compare the region and/or area of specialization you work with to the overall findings. How did the mental health and turnover look in your area/field?
  • Review ASTHO’s seven trends that will shape the future of public health. Burnout is included in this list.
    • Consider how the other trends may relate to burnout risk. Are these anticipated trends going to help reduce burnout or be an added risk factor to address?
  • Explore the CDC/NIOSH Total Worker Health® program to learn more about how organizations are protecting worker safety and health and promoting well-being. Their website includes some helpful resources and even example questionnaires that could help you evaluate the state of your workgroup.
Instructions for Obtaining Continuing Education (CE)

To receive continuing education (CE) for  Understanding and Preventing Burnout among Public Health Workers: Unit 1 – WD4656, please visit CDC TRAIN and search for the course in the Course Catalog using course number 1118205 Follow the steps below by April 26, 2025.

  1. Check the box for each type of CE you wish to apply for when registering for the course.
  2. Complete the course.
  3. Select the Mark Completed button on the course page in TRAIN.
  4. Pass the post-assessment at 75%.
  5. Complete the evaluation.

You can access your certificates and transcript by visiting Your Learning in TRAIN. No fees are charged for CDC’s CE activities.