Mental health during the pandemic

Nurses COVID


I was diagnosed with depression at the end of 2017 after seeking counseling for the first time. I didn't start an antidepressant till probably the next year, then I would take them on and off, kept telling myself that I wasn't depressed and didn't need the medication. Then in mid 2019, I had an embarrassing experience which provoked me to seek out counseling again. I found the right therapist and have been taking an antidepressant since. Nursing can be stressful at times, but I was doing fine with my depression and doing well until March. I worked on a COVID unit for the first time on a Friday, then the next day "bam" here are feelings of anxiety, sadness, and crying. I worked on a non critical COVID unit for a while and even volunteered because I wanted to help and wasn't afraid( I was afraid the very first time I worked on the unit). I forced myself to stop watching the news, even though I wanted to watch, because it increased my anxiety levels. We have been working overtime hours every other week since this pandemic started. Then recently the hospital is requiring us to work OT every week. That's asking too much. I am a nurse who RARLEY will pick up OT. I have worked 3 straight weeks of overtime. What makes it worse is having sicker patients than usual on my med/surg unit, these are not even COVID patients. I cannot devote the right amount of attention to a really sick patient who might turn critical when I have 5 others pts. The increased hours on top of taking care of really sick patient's has been wearing me thin. I like where I work, but I feel like I am becoming burned out.

Specializes in NICU, PICU, Transport, L&D, Hospice.

Please take care of yourself. Can you increase contact with your counselor?

I have scheduled myself for another session next week. My employer is offering mental health services during this time, but I prefer to see the therapist that I've talked to for over a year. Those nurses who are working on COVID units full time definitely should use the mental health services offered. I think once we are not made to work overtime I will feel better.

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