Nurses, midwives, graduates and personal care workers have reported that working within a COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely challenging, with many ANMF members experiencing anxiety, stress and fatigue.
Despite this, a survey of ANMF (Vic Branch) members found that 43 per cent said they didn’t seek help from Nursing and Midwifery Health Support Program Victoria because ‘I feel I should be able to cope’ and 20 per cent said ‘I’m embarrassed to ask for support’.
The Nursing and Midwifery Health Program Victoria (NMHPV) has launched the ‘I am human’ campaign to spread the message that there is no shame in seeking out support, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nurses, midwives, student nurses and midwives, and personal care workers have been operating for months within the context of a one-in-100 years global pandemic – this is placing unprecedented demands on healthcare and aged care workers.
These are just some of the comments made by nurses, midwives and personal care workers about the impact of COVID-19:
- Nothing to look forward to anymore. Feeling low level sadness all the time. Sleeping badly.
- Worry about my colleagues working in direct care and no visits with ageing parent
- The ongoing level of stress at work and at home and no rest from the high stress levels have caused physical and emotional exhaustion.
- Too concerned about my family when working, especially on COVID-19 ward. Increased weight and isolated from relatives and friends.
- We are providing round the clock emotional support for (aged care) residents who are missing their families, with little to no support for ourselves in the same position.
- Frequent panic attacks at home and at work
Whether you could just do with a friendly listening ear, or would like to work on a care plan for issues such as insomnia, mental health concerns including anxiety or depression, or use of alcohol or other drugs, support is just a phone call or email away.
NMHPV is a free, confidential and independent service offering support, counselling, and referral to other services as necessary. It is a safe space to discuss family violence issues.
The NMHPV is staffed predominantly by mental health nurses. There are also nurses and midwives with counselling training.
During the COVID-19 pandemic the Andrews Government has provided NMHPV with $600,000 additional funding to extend its service, including to personal care workers in residential aged care.