Happy International Nurses Day, folks! So have you thanked the nurses who got you through the most harrowing time of your convalescing history? If the answer is no, well, step away from whatever is keeping you ( Netflix?) from expressing your eternal gratitude to the nurses who are at this very virussy moment providing care to Covid 19 patients at the risk of their life. It is never easy to put someone else's need before your own. however, nurses do it with aplomb and at great risk not only to their physical health but to their mental health.
PTSD in Nurses
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing 6.7%–95.7% of nurses had at least one symptom of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A mental disorder triggered by bearing witness to a horrifying, stressful situation. However, the study catalogued and reviewed articles published between 1999-2019 or simply known as the pre-pandemic years. In the wake of COVID-19, the situation must be extremely dire and statistics significantly high, considering nurses have been putting themselves in harm's way since it all began.
Factors like workplace frustrations such as lack of staffing, lack of organizational support, Increased mortality rates, and patient suffering can all contribute towards PTSD. Given we're in a midst of an epidemic, the mental stress on the nurse has invariably increased. During these difficult times, people are coming to recognize how highly skilled and pertinent the nurses are to the health care system. Many nurses have spoken about how the high rate of COVID deaths, sometimes losing a lot of patients in one day, is deeply traumatic for them. They are in a constant state of fear. Fear that they will run out of supplies. Fear of witnessing more deaths. It's no surprise that nurses have reported suffering from PTSD during the pandemic. The nurse suffering from PTSD will exhibit the following symptoms.
- Lack of sleep
- nightmares of the event
- frequent startling to minor noises
They are all signs that you may be suffering from PTSD.
How to Overcome PTSD?
It is imperative for nurses to firstly look out for the symptoms of PTSD and be aware of them. Experts suggest you can always pre-empt the signs of PTSD by providing proper training before responding to traumatic events and conduct debriefings afterwards. Mostly if you are presently in throes of PTSD it is extremely beneficial to speak out and seek therapy. The National Alliance on Mental Illness recommends a combination of psychotherapy and medication. They also suggest physical exercise - yoga, aqua therapy or even getting a service dog.
So we ardently hope that nurses who are working tirelessly amid the pandemic, seek out professional help in case they start experiencing any symptoms of PTSD and overcome the struggles wrought by this debilitation mental illness.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 12, 2021 02:00 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).