COVID-19 NSH Histology Survey Results

On May 11, 2020 NSH published a survey to our histology community asking them to answer a few questions, to help us gauge the impact that COVID has had on their workload. When we closed the survey on May 22nd, we had received 704 responses from members and non-members alike; from the United States and abroad. Below are some of the key findings from this survey.

We are now opening the second iteration of this survey, with some additional questions, so we can continue to monitor conditions in the histology laboratories, as many states begin to ease shelter in place restrictions. We plan to release a few more iterations of this survey in the coming months as conditions continue to change. Please continue to take each new version of the survey! These responses are helping our Board of Directors make important decisions about the type of resources and relief our histology community needs moving forward. This will impact the type of education we provide, as well as our advocacy efforts.

Have you personally experienced a job loss due to the impact of COVID-19 on the economy? Slightly more than half of the respondents, 51% had no change in their employment. 31% are experiencing reduced work such as rotating shifts, mandatory vacation time, or cut hours, and 16.5% have lost their job or been furloughed.

With 704 respondents, the numbers reported for each region are relatively low*, and may not be representative of the region as a whole, however there are some noticeable differences between different regions in the survey results. Regions V and IV for example, had higher levels of reduced work, and less people reporting no change. Regions VI and VIII meanwhile, reported higher levels of no change.

*115 respondents from Region I,  88 from Region II
*115 respondents from Region I, 88 from Region II
*93 respondents from Region III, 109 from Region IV
*58 respondents from Region V, 57 from Region VI
*47 respondents from Region VII, 62 from Region VIII
26 respondents from Region IX , 19 international

In addition to location of those furloughed, we also looked at their position. Technician/Scientists made up 61% of those surveyed, therefore they are the majority in every category of job situation, however we can see in these graphs that Lab Managers (purple in the graph), were much more likely to have had no change. Supervisors (dark blue in the graph) were less likely to be furloughed or laid off, but many are seeing reduced work.

The survey also looked at area of practice. Employees at community hospitals made up the largest percentage of respondents at 45%, with private lab being the second highest at 25%. Those at private labs were less likely to have experienced no change, with many being furloughed. A large number of community hospital workers had experienced reduced work. Industries like research and pharma were more likely to see no change.

How has COVID-19 impacted your ability to travel to business-related conferences? This question was pretty evenly split, but worth noting that only 11% indicated that there had been no impact at all. Most had some type of restriction on their travel. The second iteration of the survey digs deeper into this question to determine whether restrictions are being placed by the employer, the individual or the individual's home state.

Please take the next iteration of this survey so we can continue to monitor the changing impact of COVID-19. You can find some great career tips for coping during COVID, as well as links to unemployment resources in Pam Barker's recent Fixation on Histology post. You can find additional COVID resources on disinfection, autopsies, and more, that can help you in your lab, on NSH's COVID-19 resources page.

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