Survey: Nurses overworked, understaffed and stressed

Work stress is hitting the nursing industry particularly hard this year with eight of 10 nurses reporting they are under more pressure than last year and are suffering physical ailments as a result, according to a Nursing Times survey.

The state of the nursing industry is dire, based on the responses of 2,200 nurses who answered the United Kingdom publication's annual survey. The Nursing Times reports 56 percent feel they are under significantly more pressure at work and more than eight out of 10 nurses said their ward or team is short-staffed at least once a week, with half of these nurse stating this is "always" the case.  

Other key findings from the survey:

  • Nearly half (46 percent) said they work noticeably longer hours than this time last year;
  • Seventy-three percent said they had suffered the side effects of work-related stress, such as physical or mental health problems, in the past year;
  • More than a third (37 percent) have taken more sick leave in the past 12 months than they normally would; and
  • Seventy-four percent said they had felt under pressure from their organization to come to work when they were feeling ill this year.

Hospital nurses suffer depression at twice the rate of the general population, according to a 2012 study published in Clinical Nurse Specialist. Nurses showed depressive symptoms at a rate of 18 percent, double the national norm of 9 percent, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To combat work-related stress,FiereceHealthcare reported hospitals in the United States are offering knitting classes, creative writing and dance to help nurses relax and prevent burnout. Nurses are especially at risk for becoming overwhelmed and depleted because they are constantly providing direct care to patients.

For more:
- here's the Nursing Times article