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Strengths and Weaknesses of Healthcare Professionals’ Identity during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study within the Spanish Context

1
Department of Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology and Aesthetic, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Castilla-La Mancha, 16071 Cuenca, Spain
2
Department of Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology and Aesthetic, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Talavera de la Reina, 45600 Toledo, Spain
3
Department of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Talavera de la Reina, 45600 Toledo, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10020033
Received: 5 December 2020 / Revised: 16 January 2021 / Accepted: 18 January 2021 / Published: 21 January 2021
Spanish healthcare workers’ professional identity is intricately associated with the idea of vocation, among others values. This attitude has become even more marked during the current COVID-19 pandemic—during which these professionals have endured a gruelling workload that has tested the limits of their physical and mental strength. The objective of this study is to open a debate on the symbolic dimensions of identity and culture among healthcare professionals (mainly doctors and nurses), analysing the factors that, on the one hand, might reinforce this symbolic system or, on the other, might question it or cause it to be restructured. The study follows an anthropological perspective, with the thematic content analysis of twenty-two in-depth interviews with primary healthcare professionals. The results show the need to dissect the symbolic and structural factors underpinning anxiety and fear in medical professional performance during the COVID-19 pandemic. These have a significant impact on the current model of medical practice and its most visible and worrying consequence, continuous occupational distress. The conclusions suggest that these models need to be reviewed since there is a notorious dissonance between their strengths and weaknesses. View Full-Text
Keywords: healthcare workers; professional identity; COVID-19 pandemic; occupational distress healthcare workers; professional identity; COVID-19 pandemic; occupational distress
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MDPI and ACS Style

Abad González, L.; Flores-Martos, J.A.; Cipriano-Crespo, C.; Pulido-Fuentes, M. Strengths and Weaknesses of Healthcare Professionals’ Identity during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study within the Spanish Context. Soc. Sci. 2021, 10, 33. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10020033

AMA Style

Abad González L, Flores-Martos JA, Cipriano-Crespo C, Pulido-Fuentes M. Strengths and Weaknesses of Healthcare Professionals’ Identity during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study within the Spanish Context. Social Sciences. 2021; 10(2):33. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10020033

Chicago/Turabian Style

Abad González, Luisa, Juan A. Flores-Martos, Carmen Cipriano-Crespo, and Montserrat Pulido-Fuentes. 2021. "Strengths and Weaknesses of Healthcare Professionals’ Identity during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study within the Spanish Context" Social Sciences 10, no. 2: 33. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10020033

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