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Experiences and Psychological Adjustments of Nurses Who Voluntarily Supported COVID-19 Patients in Hubei Province, China

Authors Cui S, Zhang L, Yan H, Shi Q, Jiang Y, Wang Q, Chu J

Received 28 September 2020

Accepted for publication 10 November 2020

Published 3 December 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1135—1145


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Mei-chun Cheung

Shasha Cui,1,* Lei Zhang,2,* Hongyan Yan,3,* Qianyu Shi,1 Yujun Jiang,4 Qin Wang,1 Jing Chu2

1Department of Nursing, Nantong Health College of Jiangsu Province, Nantong City, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Nursing, Navy Medical University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Neurosurgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong City, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China; 4Department of Gynecology, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Qingdao City, Shandong Province, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Jing Chu
Navy Medical University, 800 Xiang Yin Road, Shanghai 200433, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86-21-8187 1483
Email [email protected]
Qin Wang
Nantong Health College of Jiangsu Province, 288 Zhen Xing Dong Road, Nantong City, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China
Email [email protected]

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic poses a major threat to global public health and economic development. Moreover, it has put considerable psychological pressure on nurses, who have played a vital role in the prevention and control of the epidemic.
Objective: This qualitative study aimed at exploring the experiences and psychological adjustments of nurses who voluntarily traveled to Hubei Province in China to provide support during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Methods: We conducted semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with twelve nurses recruited from three hospitals in Jiangsu Province and performed qualitative content analysis of the interview data.
Results: The following themes emerged from the analysis: (1) motivations for supporting the hardest-hit areas (professional commitment, family support, and media propaganda); (2) challenges faced during the support missions (heavy workloads, changes in working patterns, communication barriers, and barriers associated with wearing personal protective equipment); (3) psychological experiences (a sense of uncertainty, fear of infection, loneliness, stressful events, and sleep disorders); (4) psychological adjustments (adequate training and personal protective equipment, positive responses to stress, and social support); and (5) personal and professional growth (a strong professional identity, a positive work attitude, a perception of expanded possibilities, realization of the value of learning, and cherishing life).
Conclusions and Recommendations: Policy makers and nursing managers should implement effective measures for supporting nurses. They include ensuring adequate workforce preparedness for nurses, strengthening protection training, including professional psychologists in support teams, encouraging nurses to apply self-regulation methods, such as exercising and listening to music, and seeking social support to promote mental health.

Keywords: coronavirus, nurse, psychological health, mental health, qualitative study

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