Frontline workers are at great risk of significant mental health challenges as a result of responding to large-scale disasters. We conducted a mixed-methods study to identify the challenges experienced and the resources nurses drew upon during this first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020 in New York City (NYC). The qualitative data presented here are on 591 nurse participants in the qualitative arm of the study. Responses to qualitative questions were reviewed by one of the investigators to identify emerging themes. Two qualitative researchers used both deductive (guided by the Resilience Theory) and inductive approaches to analysis. Challenges identi fied by nurses included concerns about well-being and health risk; mental health symptoms such as depres sion, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping; fears about the ability to care for patients with severe life-threatening symptoms; and home-work challenges such as risk to family and friends; and lack of availability of institutional resources, particularly, personal protec tive equipment (PPE). Facilitators of resilience were institutional resources and support available; social support from coworkers, friends, and family; and positive professional identity. Recommendations for promoting resilience in future disaster/pandemic responses included clarification of disaster-related professional responsibilities, integration of disaster preparedness into professional education, and engage ment of nurses/frontline workers in preparation plan ning for disasters.
- Mental health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Safety Research