Title : Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on nursing working conditions in Mexico. A view from the precariousness of work
Background. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic among health workers in Mexico were devastating, particularly among nurses who were a fundamental at the first line of care in hospitals. However, medium and long-term consequences can also be observed in working conditions from the massive incorporation of students and recent graduates.
Objective/goals. To estimate the changes in the levels of job precariousness in the nursing staff, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic to the present.
Methods. Analysis of repeated cross-sections that uses population data from the National Survey of Occupation and Employment of Mexico that covers the quarter I-2005 to quarter II-2022 applied to more than 22 thousand nursing professionals (N = 5.5 million). After characterizing the main sociodemographic and labor characteristics of the study population, we evaluated the change in the trend in precariousness and in its probability, estimating it using adjusted pooled logistic regression models. Changes (before-after COVID-19 and 1 and 2 years after the pandemic) in said probability were estimated according to relevant labor and sociodemographic characteristics and by socioeconomic regions of Mexico.
Results. The rate of growth in job insecurity for nursing professionals observed before COVID-19 increased after the health crisis, reaching levels close to 60% (10 percentage points higher than that observed in 2019). Although a general growth in job insecurity was observed, this situation worsened especially among young nursing professionals, with a lower level of training, in the private sector, and in less developed geographical contexts.
Conclusions / Implications: The increase in employment among nurses during the pandemic was implemented as an emergency strategy. In general, employed students were placed in the first line of action, unlike countries like England where they played auxiliary roles. Most of the jobs were precarious. The reduction in cases for 2022 has caused these personnel to start looking for employment opportunities in other institutions and activities.