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Article

Nurse Reports of Stressful Situations during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Qualitative Analysis of Survey Responses

1
Department of Family Medicine, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, USA
2
Department of Psychology, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI 48197, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8126; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218126
Received: 6 October 2020 / Revised: 27 October 2020 / Accepted: 30 October 2020 / Published: 3 November 2020
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has exposed nurses to conditions that threaten their health, well-being, and ability to work. It is therefore critical to study nurses’ experiences and well-being during the current crisis in order to identify risk groups for ill health and potential sources of organizational intervention. The aim of this study was to explore perceptions of the most salient sources of stress in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic in a sample of U.S. nurses. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted among a sample of 695 U.S. nurses in May 2020. Content analysis was conducted on nurses’ responses (n = 455) to an open-ended question on the most stressful situations they had experienced during the pandemic. Six distinct themes emerged from the analysis: exposure/infection-self; illness/death-others; workplace; personal protective equipment/supplies; unknowns; opinions/politics. Two sub-themes concerned restrictions associated with the pandemic and feelings of inadequacy/helplessness regarding patients and their treatment. More than half of all comments concerned stress related to problems in workplace response to the pandemic. Healthcare institutions should provide opportunities for nurses to discuss the stress they are experiencing, support one another, and make suggestions for workplace adaptations during this pandemic. View Full-Text
Keywords: nursing; occupational health; COVID-19; work stress; content analysis; qualitative nursing; occupational health; COVID-19; work stress; content analysis; qualitative
MDPI and ACS Style

Arnetz, J.E.; Goetz, C.M.; Arnetz, B.B.; Arble, E. Nurse Reports of Stressful Situations during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Qualitative Analysis of Survey Responses. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8126. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218126

AMA Style

Arnetz JE, Goetz CM, Arnetz BB, Arble E. Nurse Reports of Stressful Situations during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Qualitative Analysis of Survey Responses. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(21):8126. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218126

Chicago/Turabian Style

Arnetz, Judith E., Courtney M. Goetz, Bengt B. Arnetz, and Eamonn Arble. 2020. "Nurse Reports of Stressful Situations during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Qualitative Analysis of Survey Responses" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 21: 8126. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218126

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