In Their Words: Burdens of HIV Nursing Include Lack of Respect and Resources

In Their Words: Burdens of HIV Nursing Include Lack of Respect and Resources

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Since the early days of the HIV epidemic, HIV nurses have been asked not only to juggle the medical complexities of HIV infection but also to manage their patients' additional comorbid conditions -- while simultaneously providing emotional support. At the 2017 Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) conference, nurses gathered in Dallas to talk about these ongoing complexities.

Since the early days of the HIV epidemic, HIV nurses have been asked not only to juggle the medical complexities of HIV infection but also to manage their patients' additional comorbid conditions -- while simultaneously providing emotional support. At the 2017 Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) conference, nurses gathered in Dallas to talk about these ongoing complexities.

Several nurses who spoke with TheBodyPRO.com shared moments in which they had felt overburdened or stretched too thin. Although some common themes emerged -- such as a lack of resources, lack of respect for their profession, and the difficulties of navigating emotional intimacy with their patients -- nurses agreed that many of these challenges are surmountable in settings where nurses are empowered to work to the full extent of their license.

Here, we share some of their stories.

Transcripts have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Image credit: Nik01ay for iStock via Thinkstock.