Suicide Is Hitting the Nursing Industry Hard
The recent high-profile suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain has made headline across the media. These suicides are also making industries take a step back and look at the state of mental health and suicide rates in their organizations.
Over the past few years, the U.S. has seen an increase in the number of people who have taken their own lives. In fact, the rates are so startling that suicide is referred to as a growing epidemic. In 2016 alone, there were approximately 45,000 suicides, which was more than a 15% increase since 1999.
We also notice that suicide does not discriminate. We are seeing a sharp increase of adults between the ages of 40 to 60 choosing to take their own life. Whether it would be about general stress, finances, careers, or families, there has been a change in how we look at suicide as a whole. Some careers have reported higher numbers of suicide, including nursing.
Earlier this year, a study showed that 23% of female nurses are more likely to commit suicide than the general female population. Actually, nurses, in general, are four times more likely to commit suicide than people who do not work in medicine. These findings are hard to swallow. Why is there a high number of nurses committing suicide? Stress and pressure are just two of the reasons. Nurses also deal with more than a few issues, like bullying, violence, as well as racism.
Nursing is a high-pressure career
Do nurses feel more pressure than others? When looking at the job of a nurse, it’s easy to see how they might. Caring for patients is not easy. Aside from the pressure of caring for patients, they can be exposed to emotional and traumatic events on a daily basis. They also have long hours and low pay, as well as an issue with job security, all of which can have a massive effect on someone's mental health.
Some nurses also struggle with finding the perfect balance between work and life. It's not always easy to shut off their brains at the end of a shift. They could physically be home, but their mind could be elsewhere, wondering how a patient is doing or about a patient they cared for and passed away. Nurses may also bow out of family commitments or miss important events because of their schedule.
As rewarding as nursing is, the job can also place a huge burden on someone's mind.