The experience of ER nurses in Lebanese hospitals, during the Covid-19 outbreak: a qualitative study

Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2023 Jan 4:1-21. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2022.304. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: The increasing number of Covid-19 cases, as well as the overwhelming workload, constitute a serious occupational health threat to Emergency Room (ER) nurses working on the frontlines. In Lebanon, where unstable socio-economic conditions reign, the Covid-19 outbreak was added to the plethora of daily challenges faced by the healthcare workers. The study’s objective is to explore how Lebanese ER nurses perceived their duty on the frontlines amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

METHODS: This study has a descriptive exploratory qualitative design. Fifteen Lebanese ER nurses working directly with Covid-19 patients were recruited from three university hospitals in Beirut. Interviews were held for data collection until data saturation. Subsequent analysis was done via coding of the transcribed verbatim.

RESULTS: The findings showed significant gaps related to preparedness, support and governmental action. Similarly, the frontliners faced serious challenges that increased their stress levels both physically and mentally. Furthermore, some participants were subject to stigma and had to face irresponsible behaviors during triage. Participants emphasized the need to guarantee a safe environment at work, to provide Covid-19 patients with the needed care.

CONCLUSIONS: ER nurses struggled during this pandemic while working on the frontlines. They described their experience as not satisfying, with high levels of stress, danger and challenges.

PMID:36597671 | DOI:10.1017/dmp.2022.304

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