International Nursing Day: The Mental Health of Nurses during the Pandemic

12 May 2021 / By Social Media

International Nurses Day has been celebrated on the 12th of May every year since it was designated so in 1974. This day was chosen to mark the contributions that nurses make to society because it is the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, who is the founder of modern nursing.

How has the Pandemic Affected the Mental Health of Nurses?
Nurses are one of the primary front-line health care workers, who often suffer from many mental health-related problems, such as insomnia, burnout, anxiety, depression, etc. This is due to various reasons, such as exposure to infection, availability of protective work gear, perceived stigma, and job-related stress among many factors. These issues have taken a toll on the mental health of workers during the pandemic. Among nurses, Covid‐19 patient care has been positively associated with moderate/severe high stress and moderate/severe anxiety. Meanwhile, quarantine has been associated with moderate/severe depression. The mental health risks that were observed early on during the pandemic were more than that of previous viral outbreaks and were more similar to those that occur during disasters.

What can be done to help?
Despite how rampant the mental health issues are among nurses, they are very often overlooked. Some of the potential measures that can be taken to help reduce the mental health crisis include tangible support from the administrators, frequent mental health screenings, interventional facilities, making quarantine or isolation less restrictive, taking strict legal measures against their mistreatment, and controlling the spread of false information via media among others. High resilience, spirituality, and high levels of family functioning have also been identified as factors that can help reduce stress, depression, and anxiety during the pandemic.
In conclusion, we need to keep in mind the work nurses do for us and try our best to make their lives easier and for nurses to keep checks of their mental health and have frequent mental health screenings and interventions if needed. One can also reach out to You’re Wonderful Project; through our Instagram (@yourewonderfulproject) or via email at peersupport@yourewonderfulproject.org where our peer support team helps provide referrals to qualified mental health professionals.

 

References:
1. Gupta, S., & Sahoo, S. (2020). Pandemic and mental health of the front-line healthcare workers: a review and implications in the Indian context amidst COVID-19. General Psychiatry, 33(5). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2020.10.045.
2. ICN (2020, October 15) ICN announces International Nurses Day theme for 2021
https://www.2020yearofthenurse.org/story/icn-announces-international-nurses-day-theme-for-2021/
3. Kim, S. C., Quiban, C., Sloan, C., & Montejano, A. (2021). Predictors of poor mental health among nurses during COVID‐19 pandemic. Nursing Open, 8(2), 900-907.
https://doi.org/10.1002/nop2.697
4. Nelson, S. M., & Lee-Winn, A. E. (2020). The mental turmoil of hospital nurses in the COVID- 19 pandemic. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.
https://doi.apa.org/fulltext/2020-45475-001
5. Wright, H. M., Griffin, B. J., Shoji, K., Love, T. M., Langenecker, S. A., Benight, C. C., & Smith, A. J. (2021). Pandemic-related mental health risk among front line personnel. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 137, 673-680. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2020.10.045

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