Two thirds of nurses recovering from Covid-19 are still suffering from fatigue

A new survey by the INMO has found four in five nurses said working in the health service during the pandemic has somewhat impacted their mental health

A survey conducted by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has found 65% of nurses who have recovered from Covid-19 are still experiencing post-viral fatigue.

Out of 545 respondents, 497 (91%) stated they continued to experience symptoms such as mental health difficulties, headaches and breathing problems.

Other post-viral symptoms cited by respondents included anxiety, trouble concentrating or 'brain fog', dizziness and lightheadedness, recurring fever and heart palpitations.
Four in five (81%) of all 7,000 nurses surveyed (including those who did not contract Covid-19) said working in the health service during the pandemic has substantially or somewhat impacted their mental health.
The INMO will present their findings to the Oireachtas Special Committee on COVID response this morning (Tuesday) at 10 am and will highlight the importance of safe staffing over the coming months.

Major risk

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said of the findings: “Fatigue is a major risk to patient and staff safety – especially in a pandemic. Many of our members are reporting that despite recovery, they are still facing exhaustion."
“The impacts of this virus can be long-lasting, so nurses and midwives returning to work after recovery are going to need support. For many, there will be a long road to full recovery."
“They will also need certainty that past mistakes are being corrected. The government should empower the Health and Safety Authority to investigate cases.
“As winter approaches, frontline staff face a toxic combination of fatigue and understaffing. Safe staffing levels are the only way to ensure that our health service is not overwhelmed. We urgently need a clear plan to ramp up health service capacity before winter hits.”

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