Choosing to take the leap and engage in a career as a health professional is definitely not for the faint of heart. Think you have seen it all? Step into the shoes of a counselor, therapist, nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, social worker, physicians or any of the many health professionals for one of their shifts, and no doubt, within an hour or two reality will come crashing. Not only will you realize what they deal with, but you will also see how important your health – both mentally and physically – is and why moments in life should never be taken for granted.
At the end of each day though, how are these practitioners supposed to cope with what they have been a part of?
Nurses make up a huge part of the workforce, with approximately 3.4 million who practice and the suicide rates for nurses has been a hidden phenomenon throughout the years. It is something that has not been measured adequately within the United States.
Taking one’s own life is, unfortunately, a decision that is made by some and it does not discriminate. It is important for professionals in health care settings to develop ways to cope early on in their career. Always have someone to talk to about the stresses building up, and it is important that one has a chance to debrief after a tragic situation that may otherwise lead to compromising their mental health. Seeking professional help from another healthcare provider may be the best option for most and one should never feel embarrassed by negative stigma. The more support individuals have during these difficult times, the better their outcome will be.