Stress torments trainee nurses

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The Independent Online
STARK EVIDENCE has emerged of high levels of stress among student nurses and doctors. Up to half of trainee nurses suffer mental-health problems and three out of ten drop out of their courses, according to research.

The government-backed study emerged as the annual occupational psychology conference of the British Psychological Society was told yesterday that two in ten medical students also failed to complete their training. Researchers at the conference called for the introduction of personality tests to ensure the suitability of young people to become doctors.

A four-year study funded by Scottish Office found symptoms of mental health problems in between 32 and 55 per cent of nurses in training.

Pamela Baldwin, of the consultancy group Working Minds Research, found that living on a low income, the difficulty of fitting in part-time work and the often harrowing nature of contact with patients all contributed to stress.

The study of 147 trainee nurses found they were reluctant to take time off work even when they were sick.

Many were also loath to seek help. Between 20 and 41 per cent believed that consultations with colleagues would not be kept confidential.