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Improving mental health outcomes for aesthetic nurses

02 November 2021
Volume 10 · Issue 9


Kimberley Cairns shares her expert opinion on how mental health outcomes can be improved for aesthetic nurses with solution-focused, accessible and practical tips

The nursing profession presents unique risk factors that can make this group more vulnerable to poorer mental health

The nursing profession presents unique risk factors that can make this group more vulnerable to poorer mental health outcomes if they are not given the correct support. Providing awareness and useful tools to counteract the possible negative effects of such a rewarding profession is paramount.

Those in the caring profession are more at risk from autoimmune disease (where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body). This includes conditions such as psoriasis, thyroid disease, irritable bowels, rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease, which are reported to affect up to 80% more women than men (Invernizzi et al, 2009).

The exact reason behind this remains unknown. While genetics do have an important role, it is accepted that the immune system is responding to distressed brain signals. So, the body and mind must be viewed as one when considering mental health outcomes in aesthetic nurses. These stress signals are received and, in turn, weaken immune responses. For example, depression can increase levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Depression can then go on to affect the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight infection and inflammation, and this can lead to autoimmune disease. Aesthetic nurses may also be at a greater risk from neurological disorders, such as fibromyalgia. This debilitating illness is still largely misunderstood, but it is known that symptoms can occur after a stressful event or with emotional or physical trauma. This means that nurses are particularly susceptible due to the traumatic consequences experienced by many during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as those on the NHS frontline. Recent studies have assessed several aspects of the mental health of healthcare workers and, specifically, the impact of the pandemic and COVID-19. Results showed an increase of stress, anxiety, depressive symptoms and insomnia, and suggest that contracting COVID-19 can be an independent risk factor for stress in nurses (Spoorthy et al, 2020).

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