Post-traumatic stress disorder has become known in most households as an illness that’s assumed to afflict primarily war veterans. But even if some people know it goes far beyond that, we don’t hear about how often it afflicts the nursing industry. Nurses in the medical industry may be taken for granted at times and sometimes automatically expected to take some of the tragic things they may see in their job. And even though nurses are going to be in extreme demand in years to come, there’s a shortage of them, perhaps for good reason.
It’s true the things nurses have to sometimes see are not always pretty. When you see statistics saying that 14% of the entire nursing population suffer from PTSD as a result, you realize how much of a problem it’s become. Those statistics currently outdo the numbers of the general population and their own PTSD troubles.
The worst of PTSD in the nursing industry is when symptoms arise and the nurse thinks it’s signs of something else. This exposes a flaw in our country when those in specific careers are expected to take certain things based on their chosen profession. We see that all the time in the world of showbiz where the paparazzi hounding certain stars is accepted because the celebrity should have known it was part of the game.
Will PTSD in the nursing industry ultimately prevent some women from seeking out nursing careers? Unlike the paparazzi problem above (that can likely cause a form of PTSD), the nursing industry has a different path. New treatments are being given for PTSD in the nursing industry. But symptoms have to be scoped out first so treatment can be given now rather than throwing it off as career fatigue.
Typical PTSD Symptoms in the Nursing Industry
With 33% of all PTSD cases usually coming from the emergency department side of nursing, it’s one place that needs particular attention on symptoms. While irritability might be assumed, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says that the majority of PTSD in women is anxiety or depression. It’s certainly possible, though, to see nurses dealing with irritability in the workplace. When that starts happening in the nursing industry, it may be misunderstood as general stress.
Once the anxiety and depression happen, it can start interfering with the nurse’s job and result in missed work days. After a while, careers can be threatened without realizing that PTSD is the likely cause. The good news is that there doesn’t have to be solution avoidance just because there’s a fear of treatment being overly lengthy or expensive.
Treatment Without Drugs
Psych Central says that a combination of meditation and stretching has become a new method of treating PTSD in nurses without need of medications. That might sound more promising to nurses who realize the reality of medications causing severe side effects. In studies reported on Psych Central above, it showed that the mind-body treatments helped reduce symptoms of PTSD in many nurses and increased the stress-busting compound cortisol in the body.
Even if symptoms didn’t go away completely, the numbers are significant enough where natural treatments for PTSD are out there and workable. It’s all something to keep in mind if you’re entering the nursing field for the first time where you may eventually see things that equal being in the throes of battle.