What is more upsetting than knowing that nurses have been working day in and day out to save the lives of many daily since February? They are personally struggling immensely with the load. From September 4th through September 11th, SIA, the global advisor on staffing and workforce solutions, surveyed more than 12,000 nurses on their burnout struggles throughout this trying time. 85% of nurses have found to be struggling with a burnout on some level.
Robert A. Fris, Jr., CEO of HealthStream, stated: “It’s clear that the nation’s nurses are providing patient care in a heroic manner in the face of Covid-19; however, our survey results show that for many nurses, it is coming at a personal cost to them.”
Despite this being their job, and 80% of those polled stating that their job is incredibly meaningful to them, they are unable to take care of themselves at the same time. With the many added horrific events continuously following a world pandemic, we can only sit and imagine what the daily lives of healthcare staff around the country have truly been. Not only inside hospitals but watching the country go through its own battles outside too.
With lack of support, time and energy, Frist continues to state, “less than one-fourth of nurses strongly agreed that they have a healthy diet, exercise regularly, have healthy sleep habits, and are able to effectively decompress after work.” This becomes especially worrying, specifically with lack of sleep and eating well, as nurses can become prone to depression and anxiety. Overall, and overtime, these types of feelings will be detrimental to their health.
So, what can we do?
Firstly, as citizens, we can adopt the necessary precautions to alleviate nurses’ workloads by doing our best to not get sick. This means social distancing, wearing a mask and washing our hands/hand sanitizing when necessary.
Secondly, as spouses or family members of nurses, you can try and help in whichever way you can. This could look like cooking bulk healthy meals, helping out around the house while they are working or listening when they need to share their day with someone.
Lastly, you can donate to organizations who have created initiatives in order to support nurses not only during the virus but also after. You can find these here or you can research your local area and find ways you can donate and help out in the community.
Burnout is no joke. It isn’t great for anyone in society, let alone those who have spent most of the year fighting a virus that doesn’t feel like it’s going away. While they wake up, place on their layers of protective gear and spend most of their days saving lives, we can do whatever we can to help them. We need to be supporting our nurses and there is no better time than now to do so.