hospitalMore than 1 in 5 UK adults (22%) have been seen by a ‘visibly stressed’ nurse in the past 12 months, according to new research.

The study of 2,000 UK adults, commissioned for International Nurses Day 2016, also revealed that 34% of respondents believed their treatment was negatively affected by a healthcare professional’s high stress levels.

A recent study of nurses by Nursing Times revealed that 54% of respondents feel that they are working under ‘significantly more’ pressure compared with the previous year. This could be one reason that 86% of registered nurses reported leaving necessary care undone on their last shift due to lack of time, according to the National Nursing Research Unit.

“We work very closely with nurses and see the pressures they’re under every day,” said Colin Reid, CEO of TotalMobile, the software provider that commissioned the study. “With an aging population, an increase in long-term illnesses and the £2.3 billion NHS budget deficit, something needs to be done to support our hardworking nurses. We’re urging the government to implement technology that supports them, before things spiral out of control.”

TotalMobile is calling on the government to speed up its Five Year Forward View commitment to ‘raise its game on health technology’, and dramatically reduce the paperwork nurses have to complete every day, allowing them more time to spend with patients. In response, TotalMobile has developed a mobile app that gives nurses back up to two hours per day to spend on the tasks that matter most to them, while ensuring that all regulations are adhered to. 

The TotalMobile study also found that 44% of respondents are currently frustrated with the NHS, with 53% highlighting the biggest problem as ‘overworked’ staff.

“More and more nurses are becoming disillusioned with their role – rather than caring for people we’re spending time on needless bureaucracy, which is time consuming and frustrating,” said Douglas Hamandishe, a former mental health nurse. “There are many culprits behind this but a big issue is unnecessary paperwork. For each patient we visit, we spend three times more completing forms and evidencing the care delivered – every member of the team works as hard as they can, but it is very challenging to stay on top of everything we’re expected to do.”

International Nurses Day is marked around the world every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. This year, the theme is Nurses: A Force for Change: Improving health systems' resilience, aiming for nurses to be better equipped to provide quality care for all, even in times of difficulties.