Doctors, nurses, technicians, and other healthcare workers enter the medical field to make a difference, but long hours and the demands of the profession take their toll. Physician have long topped the list of professions with high suicide rates, but what about other healthcare professionals? Nurses and technicians are right there with physicians, often feeling the brunt of the patient’s frustrations and loved one’s anger more than the doctors who oversee the treatment plan. It seems reasonable to expect these professionals to feel the same, if not more, levels of stress. A recent study dug into this question.
Recent research finds continued reason for concern
A recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reviews more current data and looks at separate professions within healthcare. Researchers with the study broke healthcare professionals into multiple categories including physicians, nurses, technicians, and social health workers. This allowed researchers to analyze suicide rates for different groups within the healthcare arena.
Ultimately, they found healthcare workers as a whole are at an increased risk for suicide compared to non-healthcare workers. The researchers specifically pointed out higher rates amongst nursing and health technician professions compared to non-healthcare worker professions.
Another note of caution
It is important to point out that researchers analyzed data gathered from 2008 through 2019, prior to the pandemic. We know the pandemic increased stress levels for those in healthcare. Healthcare workers reported increased anxiety and sleep problems while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. With this and the data available above in mind, it is important researchers continue to analyze data and share their findings to increase public awareness. This work can also provide information to help catalyze change in this demanding field. One example discussed by the researchers was the availability of interventions within the workplace.
Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication.