COVID-19 Impact on Nurses' Mental Health
COVID-19 has changed the nursing profession. Some have suffered devastating health consequences while others dealt with high job-related stress, grief, and burnout. Despite all of this though, nursing schools are seeing more applications than before.
Pandemic-based healthcare needs have resulted in leadership opportunities and the potential for career growth and autonomy. This may seem like a positive if you’re considering joining the front-line of healthcare workers, but it’s important to remember how to protect yourself against the consequences of such a turbulent profession.
During the first wave, nurses report experiencing increased depression, anxiety, and illness. The more that individual nurses cared for patients with COVID-19, the more anxiety and depression they experienced — especially those working in intensive care units.
Feeling helpless in a position you chose specifically TO help people can take a serious toll on your mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. Not being able to ease patients’ suffering paired with the social isolation of quarantine is more than enough to send anyone over the edge.
Although these experiences were intense during the first wave, that doesn’t mean they don’t still affect the nursing population today. In March 2021, a nationwide survey reported the following mental health issues nurses are still experiencing a year into the pandemic:
- 43% of hospital RNs have more trouble sleeping than before the pandemic
- Over 61% feel more stressed
- Anxiety levels have increased 57%
- About 50% feel more depressed
- About 60% fear they’ll contract COVID-19 and infect a family member
What Can You Do About It?
Recognize Your Role
As a nurse, you are critical in helping people through this pandemic — even if you’re feeling helpless.
No one is expected to navigate a difficult career like nursing, alone. Find someone who can be your confidant, a shoulder to cry on, and who can say the things you need to hear when you need to hear them.
Take Care of Yourself
Although you may feel as if you’re programmed to help others, you must put yourself first before you’re able to provide the kind of help that they need. Taking care of your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being is the first step toward being able to fulfill your greater purpose of helping those who cannot help themselves.
Whether you’re considering a career in nursing, or you’re a seasoned professional looking for support from someone who has experienced the same things you’re going through, consider scheduling a discovery call.
I’ve worked with nurses and healthcare professionals from all walks of life, and am here to offer my support so that you can fulfill your purpose without burning yourself out.