Nursing students’ mental and physical health deteriorated

The latest research from the National Federation of Nursing Students (Fnesi) points to a significant increase in the physical and mental well-being of ESIs.

Health crisis, difficult internships, intensive personal work, stress… The reasons for student discomfort are many and increase over time.

I take an anxiety medication when I need it. Once, it was every day, I had dark thoughts. I didn’t take it for my training and my move. The two related were triggerstestified an ESI cited in the Fnesi investigation.

Be it data on anxiety attacks, consultations with health professionals, diagnoses of depression, suicidal thoughts, on the mental health side, it is not a joy. The Fnesi notes a “marked deterioration with an increase of at least 10%compared to his previous 2017 survey.

The numbers are also uplifting. According to Fnesi, 16.4% of the responding students (ie 1 in 6 students) had already thought about suicide during their studies.

In the field of mental health, 23.3% have already consulted a professional since the start of their training (compared to 13.8% in 2017).

The use of drugs (anxiolitics, antidepressants, hypnotics) has also increased: 34% of WISEs say they have already undergone this type of treatment, of which 50% “because of the impact of the training”.


Decreased physical health

In terms of physical health, it is no better. †Health studies and health professions are very physical professions. Ergonomic gestures are essential to maintain our physical condition. Yet 80.9% of ESI have musculoskeletal pain and 42.1% feel it often or all the time’ the Fnesi says.

The frequency of these pain sensations also leads to the consumption of therapies. For example, 30.8% of respondents use ISE’s Level 1 analgesics, 13.1% use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and 6.7% use Level 2 analgesics.

Addictions are born

With more than alarming findings of deteriorating physical and mental health from day to day, risky and/or addictive behaviors are created’ the Fnesi says.

For example, one in four students is a smoker, including one in six ESIs who started during training. Of all smokers, 56% have increased their consumption since the start of the training.

While the social factor in this section is not negligible, stress is the most noticeable reason, especially during internship periods.explains the Fnesi.

Other revealing numbers are cited: 37.5% of WISEs, i.e. more than one in three college students, drink alcohol at least once a week; one in eight WISEs has used substances such as cannabis, cocaine, LSD or ecstasy since they started their education.

Better ?

To cope with the deterioration of the health of the students, the Fnesi makes demands. According to the federation, there would be a physical need to revise the reference system for nursing education with a redesign of working time and classes; investing in university health services; make agreements with the SUAPS, sports services and health professionals for the delocalized institutes.

In the field of mental health, Fnesi requests, we should give ESIs the opportunity to have free consultations with a psychologist, invest massively in mental health, raise awareness and educate about mental health (example: Premium Mental Health Care, PSSM ).

Finally, details of the federation, it would be necessary to raise awareness and support addictive behavior in SSUs and conduct a public health awareness campaign (dry January, tobacco-free month, etc.).

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