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Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on emergency department team dynamics and workforce sustainability in Australia. A qualitative study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-17, 02:59 authored by P Dempster, Ana HutchinsonAna Hutchinson, Elizabeth OldlandElizabeth Oldland, Stephane BouchouchaStephane Bouchoucha
Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged health care professionals and changed our approach to care delivery. The aim in this study was to explore nurses’ experiences providing care in the ED during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia and the impact of this on ED team functioning. Methods: A qualitative explorative descriptive study was conducted using thematic analysis strategies. Participants comprised: Registered Nurses (n = 18) working in clinical roles in the Emergency Department and Leadership Registered Nurses (n = 6) within the organisation. One on one interviews (n = 21) and one focus group interview were conducted utilising semi-structured, conversational style, in-depth interviews between January 2022 and April 2022. Results: Two major themes were identified that described the impact on ED team dynamics and longer-term impacts on the ED nursing workforce. The first major theme was: ‘Changed Emergency Department team identity and dynamics’ and included four sub-themes: i) PPE is a barrier to team camaraderie; ii) outsiders versus insiders – ambivalence to PPE spotter role; iii) personal safety comes first in a pandemic; and iv) using PPE depersonalises the whole patient experience. The second major theme was: ‘This pandemic caught everyone off guard’ and had three sub-themes. The associated sub-themes were: i) People outside ED have no understanding of what it has been like; ii) COVID-19 is here to stay - Permanent changes to care delivery and nursing practice; and iii) tenacity of a true profession. Conclusions: Study findings illuminated the dynamics and functionality of ED nursing, encompassing the unique qualities of camaraderie, autonomy, resilience and tenacity.

History

Journal

International Emergency Nursing

Volume

71

Article number

101378

Pagination

101378-101378

Location

England

ISSN

1755-599X

eISSN

1878-013X

Language

en

Publisher

Elsevier BV