Who takes care of the nurses who take care of us?

May 12th, the anniversary of Florence Nightingales birth, is a day to celebrate nurses around the world. Without nurses, most health services would not exist. Nurses are taken for granted even though they save lives. They sit by the bed of those who have no family and carry out tasks the average person could not.

The International Council of Nurses chose the theme of 'A force for change: Care effective, cost effective'. In the UK, The Royal College of Nursing have chosen the theme '#WhyInurse' for Twitter. This is to show the public the reasons why they chose that path. The International Council of Nurses have released a toolkit for nurses in the industry which supports health system financing. (quality care in a cost effective manner.)

Nurses are often busy, helping to save lives or supporting those who have recently lost a loved one. It is not surprising this can have a negative impact on their mental health. Though they have years of training, it is not often that nurses can assess their own symptoms. `Especially those symptoms linked with mental health. Some symptoms of depression can be vague or similar to everyday work stresses, which makes hard to see. Depression can have devastating effects. It is all the worse when the person going through it is somebody who our lives may depend on.

Nurses can often be prone to depression, anxiety and stress due to their fast paced work, intense workloads and long shifts. According to a (2012) study, around 18% of hospital employed nurses experienced depression. This is double the rate of the general population. 'Daily Nurse' states that 'Nurses worry that even a hint of mental health troubles could impact their careers. Depression makes  health headlines, but many still feel the stigma and worry that someone will tag them as a less capable professional if they struggle with mental health issues.'

A study from 'HealthLenders' suggests that one in five nurses have depression. Other than being responsible for a number of people in general, nurses typically perform 160 tasks in one 8 hour shift, whilst having 7 or more things to remember at any given time. Nurses should be looking out for one another as they understand the pressures of the job role. They should be showing the same understanding and support they show their patients. 

NurseTogether suggests that there are three things which nurses should be looking for in their colleagues: 

  • Absenteeism. Look out for colleagues taking sick days, having constant physical illness, and complaining of inability to sleep or get out of bed.
  • Isolation. Look out for colleagues not being as talkative as before and not being as social as before.
  • Negative self-talk. Look out for colleagues losing their confidence and talking about feeling worthless.

Nurses show compassion and kindness for their patients and do the things the majority of us would not even imagine doing. However, due to this, they may often disregard their own mental wellbeing. It is up to each and every person to look out for those who look out for us.

Show your thanks this International Nurses Day!


Sam GlassComment