The work overload and strain suffered by nurses during the Covid-19 pandemic has meant a noticeable worsening of your physical and psychological health. Seven out of ten suffer from “burnout” syndrome and almost nine out of ten feel stressed, while the anxiety, fear, or distress it affects practically all of these professionals.
These are the first results of the macro-survey carried out by the Nursing Union, SATSE, to a total of 11,645 nurses from all autonomous communities during the past month of February and that «evidence clearly and emphatically that the lack of protection, resources and professionals has harmed all of these professionals who have dedicated themselves since the beginning of the pandemic to caring for and attending to millions of people putting your health and safety, as well as that of those closest to you, are at clear risk at all times ».
According to the study, in recent months the feeling of being burned has grown by 13 points with work, going from 56 percent to 69 percent of the professionals surveyed, while stress has increased from 78 percent to more than 88 percent, ten points more.
The same way, the feeling of emotional exhaustion also shoots up going from 75 percent to more than 88 percent of the nurses consulted, while the feeling of accomplishment with the work carried out in their corresponding unit, service or health center decreases by almost 10 points, placing this in just 40 percent.
SATSE has been conducting periodic studies since 2012 to analyze the consequences on a psychological and physical level that nurses have its work of care and care “and, far from improving, there continues to be a generalized worsening that, on this occasion and as a result of what has been suffered during the months of the health crisis, is more serious and worrying”, they underline .
The survey is also interested in main symptoms that nurses They claim to suffer as a result of their work, both physically (muscle tension, appetite or sleep disorders, sexual problems), and psychologically and emotionally (nervousness, anxiety, fear, anguish, irritability, difficulty concentrating).
Specifically, 96 percent of the nurses surveyed state that they had suffered restlessness, nervousness, anxiety, fear, or distress Of those, about 60 percent admit to suffering from it frequently or very frequently, while nine out of ten have felt that the situation they experienced surpasses them.
On the other hand, 92 percent of the professionals who have taken the SATSE survey declare that they have sleep disturbances and 83% appetite alterations. Likewise, sexual problems have appeared for more than 57 percent of nurses in our country.
Another of the problems referred to as a consequence of the work overload and stress suffered in recent months is that almost 80 percent of the professionals surveyed their memory has diminished, almost 88 percent have difficulty concentrating and about 77 percent report slow thinking.
«The pandemic has taken a clear toll on the physical, psychological and emotional health of nurses and, for the moment, the different competent administrations have not advanced in their repeated commitment to improve their working and professional conditions so that they can attend and take care of others in healthy work environments “, they affirm from the union.
SATSE warns that this situation of stress and psychological and physical suffering, which is structural in the professional work of nurses and which has worsened this year with the Covid-19 pandemic, it cannot be prolonged “not a minute more” and, therefore, requires the state governments and the different autonomies to urgently implement measures structural resources and means to end this unbearable situation.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism