A team of researchers has reported that nurses in the US experience suicidal ideation in greater numbers than other general workers and those who do are less likely to tell anyone about it.
The findings, published in the American Journal of Nursing, indicate that those who reported suicidal ideation also said they were less likely than other respondents to seek professional help for their emotional issues.
“While the findings of our study are serious enough, we recognise the impact of the current pandemic has dramatically compounded the situation,” said researcher Liselotte Dyrbye from the Mayo Clinic.
“The need for system-level interventions to improve the work lives of nurses and other members of the health care team is greater than ever before,” Dyrbye added.
In a national survey, more than 7,000 nurses responded on well-being, with questions ranging from burnout to depression.
More than 400 nurses reported having suicidal ideation within the past year, the study said.
More than one-third of the nurses had at least one symptom of burnout and 40 per cent screened positive for symptoms of depression.
The researchers said their findings indicate that the situation needs urgent attention and systems – and practice-based interventions need to be developed and implemented to address burnout and suicidal ideation.
It is important to note that this survey was conducted, beginning in late 2017, with data collection in 2018, before any of these nurses were confronted with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.