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The Psychosocial, Organizational, and Environmental Stressors Experienced by Food Service Workers in a Hospital Setting during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

OBJECTIVE: To identify stressors faced by hospital food service workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic and effective interventions mitigating these stressors.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, we conducted surveys (n = 305) and interviews (n = 9) in the summer and fall of 2022 with employees in hospital settings to determine the psychosocial, organizational, and environmental stressors they faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and interventions that improved health and well-being.

FINDINGS: The main stressors reported were fear of infection, increased work demands and schedule unpredictability, and financial insecurity. Employee well-being was bolstered by regular, clear, bidirectional communication; a sense of community and purpose; benefits like paid sick leave and health insurance coverage; and organizational policies that included masking and vaccine requirements demonstrating commitment to protecting worker health.

CONCLUSION: Organizations can play a critical role in guarding the health, well-being, and resilience of frontline workers.

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