Mental Health Issues for Nurses
Mental health issues ranging from burnout, depression, and anxiety are effecting nurses at an unprecedented rate. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exacerbate the rate of mental health issues in nurses, Create Health Care Management has diligently been working with hospitals to empower nurses well-being and reduce the mental health crisis caused by stressful work environments and create systemic change. High workload is one of the leading cause of mental health problems among the general population of nurses. In addition to workload, the global shortage of nurse leaders stands at 5.9 million. In order to combat this situation, increased investment in nursing training and professional development is suggested for private and public health systems. While each hospital system faces unique needs the development of effective interventions to improve nurses well being is vital.
Mental health disorders are a diverse group of conditions that affect how an individual thinks, feels, and behaves. A mental health condition can be diagnosed by a mental health professional using the diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM-5). There are many different types of mental health disorders and they can be classified into three main groups: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and impulse control disorders. Outside of nursing, the most common types of mental health issues are depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Impact of Poor Conditions on Mental Health Care of Nurses
Nurses are under increasing pressure to perform in stressful environments, and these high demands can have a profound impact on their mental health. Conflict within the workplace are factors that can exacerbate mental distress among nurses causing moral distress – a major contributor to burnout. The nursing profession has a shortage. This shortage can also be the cause of depression and other mental illnesses, such as compassion fatigue and even substance abuse. Psychiatric nursing as well as ER nurses are more likely than other workers to suffer from depression and anxiety. A mental health crisis has created high job turnover rates, which has a negative effect on patient care.
Impact of Stress on Mental Health
Occupational stress can affect nurses in any setting. Nevertheless, it is crucial for nurses to monitor and manage their own levels of stress, well being and mental health in order to remain effective and at peak performance. A mental health issue can be simply emotional exhaustion. Communication skills and strong therapeutic relationships can bring risk factors to the forefront for a systematic review of all adverse events.
Self Care and Mental Well Being
Organizations must provide support for self-care and well being to address systemic issues and then have a systematic review and integrative review of solutions. To reduce mental distress among nurses evidence based resources can be provided. They should also offer evidence-based interventions, including mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral skills, and overturning negative thinking. A nurse’s mental health can improve with peer support as well as appropriate compensation. Offering coping skills and a safe place to discuss issues such as workplace bullying and medical errors can begin to address the root causes of these problems and create supportive environments for nursing professionals.
Nurse Suicide Prevention
Nurse suicide is three times more likely to happen than the general population. Crisis intervention and suicide prevention improves mental health.
Some of the reasons why the mental health of nurses are so vulnerable to suicide include:
- Being in a high-stress, high-responsibility profession
- Working long hours without breaks
- Lack of support from colleagues, supervisors or others part of the healthcare team
- Long periods of time away from home due to shift work
- The stress of the Covid 19 pandemic
- Workplace bullying
What is Mental Health Nursing?
Psychiatric nursing is one of the more challenging jobs and the need for skilled psychiatric mental health nurses is high. Patients with mental health problems and mental illness are often suffering various forms of psychological conditions such as anxiety disorder, depression, and addiction. Psychiatric nursing must establish strong therapeutic relationships and boundaries to work with mental health services.
Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
Psychiatric mental health nursing takes a unique individual. Psychiatric nursing usually involves working on a psychiatric unit or in an environment that faces crisis intervention and mental health challenges daily. The PMH-APRN role is growing in mental health care. Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses (PMH APRNs ) are licensed or credentialed to practice as mental health nursing professionals. These nurses may be certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in psychiatric mental health, as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, or as Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist. Titles may differ depending on the state in which you practice.
Healthcare Culture and Contributing Factors
Nurses have a very strong culture of caring for others, which makes them vulnerable when they feel like they cannot help their patients or do not get support from other staff members. This leads to feelings of guilt, anger, and sadness that can eventually lead to burnout. The culture of the medical field is one contributing factor to nurse burnout. In order to combat this problem, nurses need more support from their supervisors, more time off work so they can recuperate and have a better work-life balance. Nurse practitioners, registered nurses, psychiatric nurses, and healthcare workers must keep track of their mental health status and well being to be most effective at work. It’s not possible to provide the best possible patient care when your own health is depleted.
Why is Mental Health Important in Nursing?
Depressed nurses may have difficulty concentrating, communicating or critically thinking–all factors can negatively impact their mental health. They can cause delays in patient care, medication mistakes, and lapsed nursing judgement.
Mental Health Care for Psychiatric Nursing
Mental health issues can be a huge burden for those in mental health nursing on psychiatric mental health units. Work performance and personal mental health are imperative. To cope with personal mental health conditions for mental health nursing, registered nurses are encouraged to utilize their own health insurance to find solace in counseling or therapy for themselves.
Ways to Improve Mental Health for Healthcare Professionals
There are many ways to improve one’s mental health. Practicing mindfulness which includes meditation, yoga, or other techniques can help a person feel calm, relaxed and less stressed. Another way is to talk about any feelings and concerns with a trusted friend or professional who is trained in dealing with mental illness. It is important for mental health nurses to take care of their well being and mental health as much as they take care of their physical health.
The following are some ways that healthcare professionals can improve their mental health:
Yoga and Meditation
Yoga and meditation are good for the soul as well as improving mental health. Yoga helps the body while meditation soothes the mind. Both practices have been proven to help in reducing stress levels and anxiety.
Therapy is a great way to improve one’s mental health because it helps in understanding the root cause of the problem and it provides a safe space for people to talk. There are different styles of therapy and a mental health nurse most often has an understanding of what modality of therapy would be best for them.
Strategies to Prevent Burnout
Staying well-rested is an essential strategy to avoid nursing burnout. Finding ways to balance work and leisure is important, as is creating a social calendar. Taking regular breaks can keep a mental health nurse feeling fresh, and interacting with people can help stave off depression.
Setting up a mentor or buddy program for staff helps foster teamwork and engagement while providing ongoing professional development opportunities. Lastly, nurses must develop healthy relationships with other members of their teams. Although people naturally seek to avoid conflict, letting issues simmer can exacerbate the feelings of stress, which contributes to nursing burnout. Identifying and addressing conflict early will minimize employee stress and burnout. In addition, people will be more effective in leading other fellow nurses if the person models their values and behavior.
One of the most effective mental health promotion strategies is physical activity, followed by maintaining social contacts. Both physical and mental activity are important for a nurses’ well being. Registered nurses are knowledgeable about health promotion and illness prevention. Current health care often focuses on illness, symptoms, and risk, which may detract from actions that promote daily mental health. Mental health nursing and psychiatric mental health are vital to be present and to be available for a patients’ overall well being. Practicing mindfulness and promoting mental health will be a valuable tool to help engage in the overall health of the workplace. At a university medical center the campus is often large and physical activities are usually offered to improve the mental health care of all staff.
Reasons for Nursing Burnout
Many nurses experience burnout at some point in their careers. Nurses in all stages of practice exhibit symptoms of burnout. While there are many reasons why this occurs, the most common are work-related stress, unrealistic expectations, and inadequate sleep. Nurses who work in high-stress environments may be more susceptible to the ill effects of burnout than their peers. In addition to these negative effects, the resulting depression and anxiety can have serious consequences for the patient care given. While the effects of stress on staff may vary, a key factor to preventing burnout is developing strong relationships with senior nursing leaders. As a leader, a person must know how to identify the warning signs of burnout and provide support to their nursing staff. Nurture an environment where nurses feel comfortable communicating with leadership, and the staff will appreciate the efforts used to prevent burnout in nursing. These are some of the most effective strategies for preventing burnout among nurses.
ICU Hospital Nurses
While dealing with death can cause significant stress, the effects of PTSD are particularly severe in ICU nurses. Critical care nurses provide nursing care to patients with life-threatening illnesses or conditions. More Americans have health insurance than before and the Affordable Care Act requires provisions on mental health care. ICU nurses are prepared and trained to have to act quickly and make split-second decisions. Many patients in an ICU are a high level of acuity with both medical and mental illness.
Creative Health Care Management
Over the last four decades, CHCM has helped transform health care with Relationship-Based Care (RBC), delivered comprehensive Magnet® preparation services, and revolutionized the field of competency assessment. Our interprofessional team has partnered with healthcare organizations of all sizes on five continents on everything from one-day presentations, to organizational and system-wide assessments, multi-day workshops, and multi-year RBC implementations and Magnet® journeys.
Factors contributing to a positive state of well-being for nurse well being include altruism, self-care and meaningful recognition. Being able to provide nurses with an outlet to express their feelings can help with stress reduction, and it can have a positive impact on their overall well being with their nursing practice.
Stress in Nursing
Stress in nursing has been shown to have a direct correlation with an increase in absenteeism, turnover, and even patient mortality rates. It also has been shown to have a negative impact on their mental health and quality of life. Nurses need to find ways to combat this stress before it becomes too much for them and their patients.
Nurse burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion that is caused by prolonged exposure to stressors in the workplace. It can lead to job dissatisfaction, decreased productivity, and increased absenteeism. Nurses are at high risk for burnout due to their high level of emotional labor in taking care of patients with chronic illnesses. Nurses may also experience burnout as a result of caregiver burden, which is the feeling that nurses are unable to provide adequate care for their patients due to limited resources.
Nurse moral distress is a feeling of guilt or shame that can happen when nurses come into contact with the consequences of their work. The nurse may feel that they are being forced to make choices that contradict our sense of right and wrong.