Qualitative study of UK health professionals’ experiences of working at the point of care during the COVID-19 pandemic

Baldwin, Sharin and George, Joicy (2021) Qualitative study of UK health professionals’ experiences of working at the point of care during the COVID-19 pandemic. BMJ Open, 11 (9). e054377.

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Abstract

Objectives
To develop an understanding of health professionals’ experiences of working at the point of care during the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact on their health and well-being and their support needs.

Design
A qualitative study using semistructured interviews. Data were analysed using framework analysis.

Setting
One large National Health Service integrated care trust.

Participants
A purposive sample of 19 qualified health professionals (doctors, nurses or allied health professionals), working with patients with COVID-19 admitted to the hospitals between March and May 2020 were eligible to take part.

Results
Eight major categories were identified: (1) Working in a ‘war zone’, (2) ‘Going into a war zone without a weapon’, (3) ‘Patients come first’, (4) Impact of COVID-19, (5) Leadership and management, (6) Support systems, (7) Health professionals’ support needs, and (8) Camaraderie and pride. Health professionals reported increased levels of stress, anxiety and a lack of sleep. They prioritised their patients’ needs over their own and felt a professional obligation to be at work. A key finding was the reported camaraderie among the health professionals where they felt that they were ‘fighting this war together’.

Conclusions
This study provides a valuable insight into the experiences of some of the frontline health professionals working in a large London-based hospital trust during the first COVID-19 peak. Findings from this study could be used to inform how managers, leaders and organisations can better support their health professional staff during the current pandemic and beyond.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Subjects: Medicine and health
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Joicy George
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2021 15:11
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2021 08:54
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/8260

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