Workplace issues like stress and bullying and physical and mental health worries are the key concerns for nurses, midwives and students who are ringing a dedicated helpline.
Nurse & Midwife Support (NM Support) data from its first year of operation showed workplace issues as the primary concern for 92 per cent of midwives, 74 per cent of nurses and 63 per cent of students who phoned the service.
Stress was the most prevalent of these issues, followed by bullying and harassment.
Students, nurses and midwives also regularly called the service to seek help with health concerns. Just under a quarter of students, 18 per cent of nurses and 16 per cent of midwives sought assistance for their physical health, while 28 per cent of nurses and 12 per cent of midwives were looking for support for mental health.
Queensland nurse Paul McNamara said although extremely rewarding, nursing can be complex and unpredictable, adding he’s appreciative of the support from the service's counsellors.
“Nurses and midwives are dedicated caregivers, which is something I am proud of. But I think we need to remember to look after ourselves as well, and that it’s normal to feel the effects of a difficult shift,” McNamara said. “It’s great peace of mind knowing we have support available whenever we need it, and from people who understand the profession.”
Launched 12 months ago today, NM Support provides confidential, 24/7 assistance and referral to nurses, midwives and students of the profession, Australia wide.
Mark Aitken, NM Support stakeholder engagement manager, said while it’s concerning that Australian nurses and midwives are experiencing health issues, it’s comforting to know that the service is being used across the country, including rural and remote areas.
“I would encourage any nurse or midwife who needs our help to call us today. Put our support number in your phone so that it is accessible when you need it,” Aitken said. “Whether you work in an urban or rural location, you are not alone – help is available.”
Nursing Review spoke with Aitken about the workplace and health issues nurses are phoning in about and whether there were any findings from the first year of calls he was surprised to see.Do you have an idea for a story?
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