New research by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has found that 97 per cent of nurses and midwives believe Covid-19 has had a negative psychological impact on the profession.

Close to 90 per cent of nurses also said they are facing mental exhaustion as a result of the pandemic.

Their research also found that 68 per cent of nurses and midwives are now considering leaving the profession as a consequence of the ordeal

The ‘Psychological Impact of COVID-19 on Nurses and Midwives in Ireland survey’- carried out between April and July 2021 gained an understanding of the psychological impact of Covid-19 on nurses and midwives in Ireland with over 1,905 nurses and midwives responding to the survey.

Commenting on the findings, INMO head of education and professional development, Steve Pitman said: “This survey paints a bleak picture of how emotionally and physically taxing the pandemic has been on our nurses and midwives right across the country.

“62 per cent of the members who responded to the survey indicated that they had cared for patients that died as a result of Covid-19, and while nurses and midwives deal with and care for dying patients normally, the level of death in this short period far exceeded previous levels in circumstances that were far from ideal in many instances.

“Nurses and midwives have faced an unprecedented increase in workload demands resulting directly or indirectly from the pandemic.

“Coupled with caring for patients with the virus, witnessing the physical and emotional effects on patients, families and loved ones has taken a psychological toll.”

Mr Pitman said the vast majority of their members are telling them they are mentally and emotionally exhausted, and he said it is going to have an impact on their safety and the safety of their patients.

He added “The INMO has provided mental health supports for members through an online digital mental health support hub, free counselling help line and emergency funding through the INMO benevolent fund, but it is clear that the State must provide more practical resources and mental health supports  for nurses and midwives, recovery must be prioritised.”