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International Nurses Day – Thursday, 12th May 2022!

Nurses Mental Health Matters Too

Happy Nurses – happy patients! The well-being of Nurses is critical to the security of the healthcare system in South Africa, including primary care, hospitals, patients’ and healthcare teams. When Nursing wellness suffers, so does patient care and patient safety. As a high-risk profession, where no adverse events are tolerated, Nurses are exposed to high levels of occupational stress. For International Nurses Day on Thursday the 12th May, The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) and Healthcare Workers Care Network (HWCN) wants to highlight the importance that Nurses Mental Health Matters too.

International Nurses Day is an important day on the Health calendar to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, sacrifices and commitment that our South African Nurses do on a daily basis despite the circumstance and challenges, where they risk their lives and mental health to serve and help others.

“The COVID-19 crisis has aggravated the long-standing challenges faced by Nurses in relation to inequalities (e.g., inadequate renumeration, higher numbers of women in the profession (which leads to oppression and stereotyping), inadequate working conditions and chronic excessive work pressures. The outcome is compassion fatigue and mental health challenges, leading to absenteeism, high turnover, immigration, and intention to leave the profession,” says Prof Tanya Heyns, University of Pretoria’s Senior Lecturer (PhD) specializing in Emergency Nursing.

“Nurses are very proud and we want to help each and every person. To ask for help is difficult. I do think that we are more open to get help. The past 2 years we had to get help in order to be able to help others,” says *Zanele, Nurse and ICU Unit Manager.