Nurses and PTSD: Combine professional care with self-care

Author(s): American Nurse Today

Is it really any surprise that one in four nurses will experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) sometime during their careers? You work with patients when they’re at their most vulnerable and fragile, struggling to survive. You also may face verbal and physical abuse from patients and families. Nursing is a high-stress profession that can include personal physical and emotional risk.

Taking care of yourself is critical to recovering from PTSD. Start by knowing the symptoms: agitation, irritability, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, flashbacks, fear, severe anxiety, mistrust, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, guilt, loneliness, insomnia, nightmares, emotional detachment, and unwanted thoughts. Ask for help from your employer or primary care provider. The National Alliance on Mental Illness recommends combining psychotherapy and medication with complementary therapies such as yoga, meditation, and water therapy.

If you’re a nurse leader, you have an opportunity to support your employees. Seek out resources and advocate for organizational assistance for nurses with PTSD. Engage with your staff. When you listen, encourage, and support them, you develop trust, which can go a long way toward getting them the help they need.

Don’t let the work you do caring for patients prevent you from taking care of yourself. Speak up if you think you may be suffering from PTSD.

Your Unique Role as a Nurse in Parkinson’s Care

The Parkinson’s Foundation, in this sponsored content, offer some possible options:

As a nurse, you are uniquely positioned to facilitate optimal care for the person with Parkinson’s disease and their family. No matter the care setting, nurses help develop individualized treatment plans and aid in coordinating other healthcare providers to meet the needs of the patient.

When caring for a person with Parkinson’s, you may be surprised that your role encompasses many skill sets, in particular as an educator-advocate, clinical care coach, counselor-family advisor and even a case manager at times.

Learn more about the unique role you play in Parkinson’s care by enrolling in the Parkinson’s Foundation accredited online Nurse Course. This multi module course is designed by leading nurse specialists to address the latest in current treatment of the disease.

The Parkinson’s Foundation is please to extend a 10% discount for nurses (through April 30, 2020) who register with code ANA to earn up to ten Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the nurse course.  Ensure better care for people living with Parkinson’s disease by enrolling today.

Learn more about self-care and wellness in the Wellness 101 series at American Nurse Today.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution



  1. I have always worked some facet of mental health. I have had to learn and nurture my self care practices. It is especially hard to leave the issues at work. It is a symptom of the compassion I feel for those with mental health concerns. I have found that if I go to a yoga class twice a week I will do yoga everyday at home. I also have found a way to practice breath-work, meditative practice that enables me to hold the person close to my heart and imagine surrounding him/her with light. It is prayerful. Then I can let it be. It also works for grandchildren and friends to discontnect myself from the worry dragon.


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