Listening to Hospital Personnel’s Narratives during the COVID-19 Outbreak
Kaplan Medical Center, Rehovot 7610000, Israel
Faculty of Social Work, Ashkelon Academic College, Ashkelon 78211, Israel
Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91905, Israel
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6413; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176413
Received: 20 July 2020 / Revised: 16 August 2020 / Accepted: 27 August 2020 / Published: 3 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Salutogenesis and Coping: Ways to Overcome Stress and Conflicts)
Healthcare workers (HCWs) facing the COVID-19 pandemic are required to deal with unexpectedly traumatic situations, concern about contamination, and mounting patient deaths. As a means to address the changing needs of our hospital’s HCWs, we conducted a narrative analysis study in the early stages of the covid-19 outbreak. A focus group of medical experts, conducted as the initial step, recommended that a bottom-up research tool be used for exploring HCWs’ traumatic experiences and needs. We therefore conducted 450 semi-structured in-depth interviews with hospital personnel. The interviews were based on Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs model, and the narratives were analyzed by applying the Listening Guide methodology. The interviewees expressed a need for physical and psychological security in the battle against Covid-19, in addition to the need for attachment and meaning. Importantly, we also found that the interview itself may serve as a therapeutic tool. In light of our findings, we recommended changes in hospital practices, which were subsequently implemented. Further research on HCWs’ traumatic experiences and needs will provide evidence-based knowledge and may enable novel approaches in the battle against Covid-19. To conclude, the knowledge generated by listening to HCWs’ narratives may provide suitable support programs for professionals.