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Title: Exploring the Psychological Distress among Frontline’ Nurses during COVID-19 Pandemic.

 

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Student name: Ahmed Hassan Shujaa

 

Student ID: 443106295

 

 

 

1. Introduction

The covid-19 epidemic has been very damaging, forcing many nations to combine their healthcare services to develop a common vaccine for the disease. It brought about an increase in psychological distress among many frontline workers. It caused panic, stress, anxiety, burnout, and fear among many healthcare workers since they were at the frontline to ensure those diagnosed with the disease were well treated. The pandemic negatively affected the frontline workers, either mentally or their well-being. However, most of them were infected with the disease, while others lost their lives due to the virus.

It caused more panic to the nurses and doctors since they were at a higher risk of being infected with the disease since they were handling the patients themselves. Healthcare workers, especially nurses, were employed to effectively fight against the virus that had killed so many people. In many areas, the psychological status of all the healthcare workers was a major concern since they were the ones handling the Covid 19 patients and taking care of them. It was very obvious that they would be highly affected mentally and psychologically. Both non-frontline and frontline workers had to work in very challenging conditions with limited resources hence had to experience negative psychological impacts from the Covid 19 virus.

However, the frontline line workers had more contact with Covid patients than the non-frontline workers. Despite the virus being highly transmittable and deadly than any other heard of virus, these workers had to work tirelessly to ensure the patients were handled and treated effectively. The frontline workers in areas with limited resources were more susceptible to the virus since they were not effectively dressed for the virus. Furthermore, Covid 19 came unexpectedly; hence hospitals had not enough equipment to handle the disease effectively. Most hospitals were overpopulated with insufficient testing equipment, medication, and personal protective attire. Moreover, the staff to handle the patients was not enough.

At first, many public hospitals had declined to treat Covid 19 patients, which caused more pressure on the frontline workers working in public hospitals. It took a toll on the frontline workers, for they also feared contracting the disease. In addition, the health workers were facing stigma as many people believed they were carriers of the virus since they were dealing with the Covid 19 patients. People did not want to associate themselves with them, increasing depression and anxiety. People feared many people with flu-like symptoms since the public believed it was the virus.

Many infected people tried avoiding the hospitals. Later on, there was a need to set up platforms for the healthcare workers’ mental health to express all they felt and their feelings about the virus and how it affected their health and psychology. The frontline workers had to work very hard to ensure they treated the Covid 19 patients effectively and with a lot of care, and it was also advisable to take care of their mental health. Poor health of the workers may cause poor treatment of patients, and it may lead to more spread of the virus since the healthcare workers themselves are not healthy. However, there was limited concern about the frontline workers.

The pandemic caught everybody by surprise, especially the healthcare workers who had never experienced such a thing before. They experienced psychological effects such as feelings of sadness, sorrow, depression, anxiety, etc. However, they needed to find ways of suppressing these psychological effects and treat patients as if everything was normal. First of all, they were also afraid of losing their life; therefore, it affected the relationship between patients and nurses because the patients were viewed as a threat instead of victims.

However, there is a way all animals, including human beings, adapt during a difficult time. The nurses later adapted after enough research and training had been done on Covid-19. The patient outcome started improving especially after the vaccine was released and people started getting vaccinated. The eight participants who were interviewed had different views on the pandemic. Their responses and the main themes of the research have been discussed below.

Aim of the study

The study aims to explore participants’ recent work experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and to understand the psychological distress among the nurses. It aimed at breaking down each aspect of the main theme and understanding the reasons behind their feelings. Some of the studied feelings include Sorrow, fear, anger, frustration, etc. The study also aims at analysing some of the social aspects that supported the nurses during the tough period of the pandemic. Some of the social aspects that the study has focused on include internal support, social support, and external support. Additionally, the study aims at analysing their work experience. Aspects such as burnout during work and the preparedness or readiness towards the pandemic have been analysed. The study also aimed at analysing the emotions and feelings of these workers, their motivations, and their preparedness for the occurrence of a similar experience. The research aims at studying how the relationships of these workers were affected. Some of the additional aims of this study include:

1. How the nurses adapted to the pandemic situation.

2. To understand the new policies, guidelines, or protocols that were applied to deal with the pandemic.

3. The challenges the nurses experienced.

4. How the pandemic affected the trust between patients and caregivers.

5. Some of the difficulties the nurses dealt with.

6. Why the nurses have suicidal thoughts during the pandemic period.

 

Methods Design and procedur

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