More than two-thirds of nurses said they've felt exhausted, frustrated, or stressed within the past two weeks—and more than a third of nurses said they don't believe their organization really cares about their wellbeing or responds to their complaints, according to a recent survey by the American Nurses Foundation (ANF).
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Nurses are stressed, frustrated, and exhausted
For its latest survey, ANF polled 9,572 nurses. Of those, 75% said in the past 14 days they felt stressed while 68% said they felt frustrated, 67% said they felt exhausted, and 62% said they felt overwhelmed. Meanwhile, just 38% said they had felt grateful in the past two weeks, and only 33% said they felt happy.
In addition, in the past 14 days, more than two-thirds of the respondents said they've experienced difficulty sleeping, while 43% said they've experienced an increase in overeating and just over a quarter said they've experienced more difficulty in relationships.
When asked if they had an extremely stressful, disturbing, or traumatic experience because of Covid-19, 42% of nurses said yes, and of those, about a quarter said they've experienced "repeated, disturbing memories, thoughts, or images" related to the incident either "quite a bit" or "extremely" in the past month.
When asked to rate their emotional health, just over a third of nurses said they'd rate it as either "not emotionally healthy" or "not at all emotionally healthy." And when asked if they had sought professional mental health support since March 2020, just 31% said they had while 68% said they hadn't.
Of those who said they had not sought professional mental health support, 45% said they didn't need it, while a fifth said they didn't have time and 16% said they feel they should be able to handle their mental health on their own.
How nurses feel about their organizations
ANF in the survey also asked nurses whether they agreed or disagreed with different statements regarding their organizations.
For instance, when asked if they felt their organization would notice if they did "the best job possible," 41% said they disagreed or strongly disagreed. In addition, when asked if their organization "really cares about [their] wellbeing," 39% said they disagreed or strongly disagreed, and when asked if their organization responds to their complaints, 41% disagreed or strongly disagreed.
(Firth, MedPage Today, 10/15; ANF survey, accessed 10/18)