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Nine in 10 nurses and midwives feel mentally exhausted as result of Covid-19 pandemic

That’s according to new research by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

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NINE IN 10 nurses and midwives feel mentally exhausted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

New research by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has found that 85% of nurses and midwives believe their experience of Covid-19 had a negative psychological impact on them. 

The survey, carried out between April and July 2021, gained an understanding of the psychological impact of Covid-19 on nurses and midwives in Ireland with over 1,905 nurses and midwives responding.

The research found that 62% of respondents cared for patients who died of Covid-19. 

68% of nurses and midwives considered leaving the profession as a consequence of Covid-19, with 25% likely or very likely to leave within the next 12 months. 

Nine in 10 (91%) of respondents said they felt mentally exhausted when off duty. Over 90% said they at least sometimes felt mentally exhausted at work and after work. 

Most respondents reported trouble sleeping and high levels of stress and worry. 

22% of respondents contracted Covid-19, of which more than 56% had long-term effects.

“We can’t ignore the fact that two-thirds of nurses and midwives tell us they considered leaving the profession due to the impact of Covid-19,” INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said. 

“Before Covid-19 landed on our shores, we already sounded the alarm that the recruitment and retention of nurses and midwives was going to be something that government and HSE needed to focus on,” Ní Sheaghdha said. 

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She added that measures must be put in place “immediately” to support the workforce. 

“Nurses and midwives have been at work in a hazardous environment without reprieve for over 18 months. They must gain relief from the constant overcrowding work situations faced on a daily basis, and fast tracked clinical supportive measures must be put in place,” Ní Sheaghdha said. 

“Occupational health services are simply not available nationwide and many members report long waiting times for an appointment,” she said. 

Ní Sheaghdha added that “over the coming weeks we need to see planned funding for the implementation of safe staffing across the health services, and measures to reduce pressure on hospitals”. 

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