Arnetz et al. (2020) conducted a cross-sectional survey to investigate the nurses’ experiences regarding the early periods of the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to outline the most prominent origins of distress perceived by the nursing staff. The authors used a qualitative content analysis approach to analyze the result of an 85-item questionnaire created specifically for the investigation. Eighty-four forced-choice items addressed the participants’ demographics, work experiences, mental health, and overall well-being during the treatment of COVID-19 affected populations, and one open question was included to highlight the most common themes. Six hundred ninety-five nurses participated in this study, with 455 of them responding to the open question. The sample consisted primarily of women, with 429 female and 82 male respondents. The participants included in the study were mostly 35 to 64 years of age. The survey was distributed online, and the data was collected with the help of ANA Michigan, COMON, and MONL organizations. The obtained information was analyzed using qualitative data-driven content analysis, revealing the major themes discussed by the nurses in the open question item.
Six themes were predominant in the nurses’ responses: exposure/infection, illness/death, workplace, personal prevention equipment (PPE), supplies, unknowns, and opinions/politics. It is concluded that the fear of becoming infected by the Coronavirus and suffering from potential complications is an especially pertinent topic among nurses working with COVID-19 patients. Personal prevention equipment is outlined as a crucial concern for nurses attending to Coronavirus patients, and the lack of these resources results in increased levels of anxiety and reduced work performance. Finally, the nursing personnel demonstrated frustration regarding the government officials’ incapacity to protect the nurses from COVID-19 complications. The scholars note that the considerable strengths of the current study are a large participant sample and a viable methodology. The findings allow corroborate the suggestion that the psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impact the nurses. However, Arnetz et al. (2020) state that the scope of the research was limited to three large-scale nursing organizations in Michigan, resulting in generalization issues. Furthermore, as only 65% of the survey participants completed the open question item, the authors propose that not all workplace factors related to nurses’ stress perceptions were examined.
Overall, Arnetz et al. (2020) revealed that nurses working with COVID-19 patients are primarily affected by the psychological toll of exposure/infection, illness/death, workplace, personal prevention equipment (PPE), supplies, unknowns, and opinions/politics. The fear of contracting Coronavirus, workplace restrictions, and ineffective pandemic prevention requirements are reported to cause the occurrence of substantial distress and anxiety. The authors conclude that the nurses’ needs regarding workplace safety and COVID-19 education are frequently ignored, leading to a significant psychological toll.
|Author, Title of the article, and Publication year||Conceptual framework||Data sources inclusion criteria, exclusion criteria, distinguishing characteristics||Data types and how data collected||Methodology; How data was analyzed; appraisal evidence||Strengths & Weaknesses:||Results, Generalizability, Transferability, Recommendations|
|Arnetz, J. E., Goetz, C. M., Arnetz, B. B., & Arble, E. Nurse reports of stressful situations during the COVID-19 pandemic: Qualitative analysis of survey responses. (2020).||Thematic analysis||Inclusion and exclusion criteria involved theme recurrency and research question relevancy. Topics that were rarely mentioned or did not align with the research topic were excluded from the data structure.||Qualitative data from an online cross-sectional survey||The methodology was based on The Consolidated Criteria For Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ). Qualitative content analysis was performed, and Lincoln and Guba’s criteria were used to assess validity and reliability.||Strengths: Substantial study sample and thorough content analysis. Weaknesses: Only three large-scale nursing organizations in Michigan were included, and 35% of respondents did not answer the open question.||Nurses’ mental well-being is severely affected by the fear of contracting Coronavirus and the stress imposed by the lack of necessary safety procedures. Low generalizability and transferability. Addressing the nurses’ safety needs and assessing psychological welfare are recommended.|
Arnetz, J. E., Goetz, C. M., Arnetz, B. B., & Arble, E. (2020). Nurse reports of stressful situations during the COVID-19 pandemic: Qualitative analysis of survey responses. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(21). Web.