Evaluating Polish nurses' working conditions and patient safety during the COVID-19 pandemic

Iwona Malinowska-Lipień, Tadeusz Wadas, Teresa Gabryś, Maria Kózka, Agnieszka Gniadek, Tomasz Brzostek, Allison Squires

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To study the relationship between Polish nurses' working conditions and their attitudes towards patient safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Background: Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, healthcare worldwide has been reorganised. How these changes affected patient safety for hospitalised persons is not well understood. Introduction: Difficult working conditions related to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic may affect the provision of safe and effective care by healthcare staff. Methods: This observational research was performed on the group of 577 nurses working during the COVID-19 pandemic in isolation infection wards (n = 201) and non-infectious diseases wards (n = 376) in Polish hospitals. The evaluation of working conditions was performed with an author's questionnaire, while the evaluation of factors influencing attitudes towards safety of the hospitalised patients was performed using Safety Attitudes Questionnaire. The STROBE checklist was used to report this study. Results: The procedures developed by management in advance for COVID-19 patient treatment had a statistically significant influence on nurses' ‘evaluation of teamwork climate, safety climate, job satisfaction, perception of management and work conditions’. Providing management with the ability to perform a swab polymerase chain reaction SARS-CoV-2 test for hospital staff in the workplace, and psychological support from professionals and employers were statistically significant for higher ratings of ‘teamwork climate, safety climate, job satisfaction, stress recognition, perception of management and work conditions’ by the Polish nurses. Hospital workload during the COVID-19 pandemic was significantly correlated with lower evaluation of work conditions. Discussion: Our study reinforces the existing literature on many fronts and demonstrates how even when operating under the COVID-19 pandemic conditions, some factors remain critical for fostering a culture of patient safety. Reinforcing patient safety practices is a imperative under these conditions. Conclusions and implications for nursing: Working conditions influence nurses' attitudes towards safety of the hospitalised patients. These are largely modifiable factors related to the workplace and include prior preparation of procedures, restrictions to extending daily work hours and psychological counselling for the staff.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-248
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Nursing Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • COVID-19
  • attitudes to safety
  • nurses
  • patient safety
  • work conditions
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital/psychology
  • Pandemics
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Poland/epidemiology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Nurses
  • Patient Safety
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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