September 10, 2021
Nurses are at increasingly high risk of attempting suicide, a recent study has revealed. Iran’s Psychology and Counseling Organization reported that, according to research carried out in hospitals in the city of Malayer in Hamadan province, more than 38 percent of nurses feel suicidal and or have considered taking their own lives.
Speaking on Friday, September 10, Fariborz Taj, a member of the the organization, put the crisis into context: “The suicide rate among nurses is higher than in the general population and has potentially increased throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The Malayer hospital research revealed that 15.38 percent of nurses suffer from moderate to severe depression and 46.47 percent suffer from moderate to severe anxiety. In addition, 27.56 percent had suicidal thoughts and 9.94 percent were on the verge of committing suicide.
The study said female nurses were more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression than male nurses, and that single and undergraduate nurses were more prone to suicide attempts. It cited psychological trauma, “occupational discrimination” and drug use as contributing factors to the shocking trend.
The Deputy Minister of Development and Resource Management for the Iranian Nursing Organization recently highlighted a serious staff shortage. “The most severe problem during the fifth coronavirus peak was the lack of staff, so much so that we received reports from some provinces and cities that 25 patients were being looked after by one nurse. This is a terrible situation.”
According to the official, international standards indicate that a single patient with critical illness requires up to four nurses to manage their care.
In May 2021, news emerged that at least three specialist medical students working as residents in hospitals had died. Several outlets reported that the deaths were due to suicide.