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B.C. nurses face increasing stress during COVID-19 pandemic: survey

Click to play video: 'B.C. nurses report increased stress due to pandemic' B.C. nurses report increased stress due to pandemic
A new survey of nearly 4000 B.C. nurses finds they're feeling increased stress and mental health impact due to the pandemic. Linda Aylesworth reports – Sep 29, 2020

B.C.’s nurses say the demands of the job during the COVID-19 pandemic are having a huge impact on their mental health and well-being, according to a new survey.

A survey by the University of British Columbia’s School of Nursing and the BC Nurses’ Union found 80 per cent of those surveyed were somewhat to extremely concerned about contacting COVID-19 on the job, and 86 per cent were worried about bringing the disease home to their families.

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Forty-one per cent of respondents said they suffered from severe depression compared to 31 per cent of respondents from a similar survey last year. Sixty per cent said they suffered from emotional exhaustion, up from 56 per cent last year.

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BCNU president Christine Sorensen said the pandemic is making a challenging job even more difficult.

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“I know nurses have struggled always with anxiety and depression,” she said. “It happens to do with the fact of the nature of the work, the hours of the work, the amount of overtime that people were working and this only seemed to increase significantly during the pandemic.”

Read more: B.C. nurse who recovered from COVID-19 warns health-care workers about returning to work too soon

Inadequate staffing and constantly changing protocols are adding to stress levels, the survey found.

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Sorensen said more mental health support is needed for nurses and all health-care workers as the pandemic doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon.

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