Nurses suffer burn-out, psychological distress in COVID fight: association

Via Cecil Mantovani

GENEVA (Reuters) – The International Council (ICN) stated that many nurses taking charge of COVID-19 struggle from burn-out and psychiatric trauma, with many experiencing violence or prejudice outside the workplace.

Subject to the World Mental Health Day on Saturday's study, stocks of personal security equipment for the nurses and other health staff in certain nursing homes remain inadequate.

Howard Catton, a british infants' nurse who's president of the ICN, told Reuters Television at the Association headquarters in Geneva, "we're highly concerned with the effect of mental wellbeing on nurses.

"Our most comprehensive study of national associations of nurses indicates that over 70% of them (associations) have reported that they have witnessed abuse or harassment and are are particularly involved in serious cases of personal trauma and mental health strain," he added.

The statistic was focused in more than 130 countries on answers from about one fifth of its national nursing associations.

The caregivers experience a large variety of challenges, including physical and verbal violence, impacting their mental wellbeing, said Mr Catton.

He stated, without offering any information on physical or verbal harassment, that "there are nurses that have been discriminated against whether their landlord has not renovated their rent for their apartments or can not access child care of their baby."

ICN campaigned on the front lines of the pandemic for improved protection and working practices for nurses.

"I also have personal protective equipment delivery issues.

Improvements have been made, particularly in hospitals, "said Catton.

However, he added, referencing the poll of his representatives, that there are already several medical homes and long-term care centers in Europe, as well as in north and south America.

Last Monday, the World Health Organisation reported that care for patients with mental disorder and drug misuse were interrupted globally during the pandemic and COVID-19 would create increased trauma for many.

(Cecile Mantovani 's article; Stephanie Nebehay 's report and Giles Elgood's editors)