Experience of non-ICU nurses and factors influencing the resiliency while working in ICU during the covid-19 pandemic in a tertiary hospital

Buthaina Mubarak Al Harthy, Fatma Said Al Manji, Mary Varughese, Shamsa Abdullah Al Sharji, Iman Hamed Al Humaidi, Hajer Thani Al Shukaily, Mayya Mansoor Al Siyabi


Background and objective: The coronavirus outbreak in 2019 has created unprecedented pressure on health care staff and material resources such as PPEs, Ventilators, Oxygen supplies, hospital beds etc. Ensuring an adequate supply of nurses to maintain a high standard of care and safe infective care practices in the phase of the increased patient load is a huge challenge for all stakeholders. Utilizing non-ICU nurses for ICU care is an option. However, factors that influence the optimal selection and coping behaviour (resilience) of a non-ICU nurse are not well examined. In this paper, we “adopt a mixed method design” to determine the suitable specialty staff for ICU attachment during a pandemic. I will emphasise the significance of educational training and preparation of critical care on non-ICU nursing staff in relation to their adaption and coping level throughout this study. The objectives of this study were (1) to explore experiences, perceptions and factors influencing resilience of non-ICU nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic and (2) to review the lived experience of non-ICU nurses after the critical care competency training programme.

Methods: After obtaining the comments from the Dissertation Review Board, the study adopted a mixed method study design. The authors selected 76 samples (eight males and sixty-eight females) by “non-probability convenient sampling”. The authors used a survey for data collection lasting 8 weeks. The authors used descriptive (frequency, percentage distribution, mean and standard deviation) and inferential statistics to analyse the data collected.

Results: The study revealed that most of the staff (75%) met the prepared objectives of the orientation program. Approximately 90% of the staff agreed that they are able to take care of critically ill patients with minimal supervision. Further, 29% of the staff stated that psychological preparation & staff readiness are the first priorities to be considered before ICU attachment. We also evaluated the ability of the staff to bear the ICU workload, and 51% of the staff reported it being bearable. This number is similar to the number of staff who reported suitable health status to physical exertion needs of the ICU. Staff age, marital status, gender, qualification, area of experience, and years of experience did not influence staff coping mechanisms. However, the attachment staff with previous ICU exposure have effective coping mechanisms during their attachment in ICU.

Conclusions: In shortage of ICU staff in case of a pandemic, staff with neurology and neurosurgery background showed a higher confidence and coping level to ICU stressful environment. Furthermore, staff with other clinical backgrounds can work effectively during this circumstance with organized training, preparedness plan, effective clinical follow up and psychological support. All these factors facilitate the coping mechanism.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v13n5p18

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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