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Coping with COVID-19. Work life experiences of nursing, midwifery and paramedic academics: An international interview study

journal contribution
posted on 2024-02-20, 06:20 authored by Janie BrownJanie Brown, S Slatyer, S Jakimowicz, J Maben, Pauline CallejaPauline Calleja, Helen DonovanHelen Donovan, L Cusack, D Cameron, V Cope, T Levett-Jones, Moira WilliamsonMoira Williamson, Karen KlocknerKaren Klockner, A Walsh, M Arnold-Chamney, O Hollingdrake, D Thoms, R Duggan

Background: The COVID-19 global pandemic was declared in March 2020. By June 2022, the total deaths worldwide attributed to COVID-19 numbered over 6.3 million. Health professionals have been significantly impacted worldwide primarily those working on the frontline but also those working in other areas including nursing, midwifery, and paramedic higher education. Studies of occupational stress have focused on the clinical health professional roles but scant attention has been drawn to the pressures on university-based academic staff supporting and preparing professionals for frontline health work. 

Design and objectives: This qualitative study sought to explore the challenges experienced by health academics (nurses, midwives and paramedics), during COVID-19 and identify strategies enlisted. Setting and participants: Six Australian and two United Kingdom universities collaborated, from which 34 health academics were individually interviewed via video or teleconference, using six broad questions. Ethical approval was obtained from the lead site and each participating University. 

Data analysis: Thematic analysis of the data was employed collaboratively across institutions, using Braun and Clarke's method. 

Results: Data analysis generated four major themes describing academics': Experiences of change; perceptions of organisational responses; professional and personal impacts; and strategies to support wellbeing. Stress, anxiety and uncertainty of working from home and teaching in a different way were reported. Strategies included setting workday routine, establishing physical boundaries for home-working and regular online contact with colleagues. 

Conclusions: The ability of nursing, midwifery and, paramedic academic staff to adapt to a sudden increase in workload, change in teaching practices and technology, while being removed from their work environment, and collegial, academic and technological supports is highlighted. It was recognised that these changes will continue post-COVID and that the way academics deliver education is forever altered.

History

Volume

119

Start Page

1

End Page

7

Number of Pages

7

eISSN

1532-2793

ISSN

0260-6917

Publisher

Elsevier BV

Language

en

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

Acceptance Date

2022-09-14

External Author Affiliations

University of Surrey, University of the West of Scotland, UK; Murdoch University; University of Technology Sydney; Queensland University of Technology; University of Adelaide

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Medium

Print-Electronic

Journal

Nurse Education Today

Article Number

105560

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