Addressing mental and emotional health concerns experienced by nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic
Jennifer Dohrn, DNP, CNM, FAAN, Yu-hui Ferng, MPA, Ruby Shah, MPH, Erica Diehl, MA, Lorraine Frazier, RN, PhD, FAAN - Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, NY
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Background: Nurses are the majority of the world’s health work force and the frontline responders during pandemics. The mental/emotional toll can be profound if it is not identified and treated.
Purpose: In March 2020, with New York City as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, Columbia University School of Nursing organized support circles for faculty and students providing clinical care as a healing method to address trauma.
Methods: Columbia University School of Nursing adapted guidelines and conducted Circles of Care to share, listen, and acknowledge the new challenges for nurses via Zoom. Analysis of these sessions produced major themes of concern for nurses.
Findings: Between March 31 and May 31, 2020, we facilitated 77 sessions with 636 attendees. Eight major themes emerged: coping mechanisms, patients suffering and dying, feelings of helplessness, frustration with COVID-19 response, silver lining, disconnection from the world, the thread that holds nurses together, and exhaustion.
Discussion: This report offers insight into the mental/emotional outcomes of being on the frontlines. Addressing these issues is essential for the well-being of nurses and all health care providers for an effective pandemic response.
The authors of this work did not submit this material directly to the Sigma Repository. This work is indexed and appears in the Sigma Repository pursuant to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License attached to the work upon its publication in the journal acknowledged in this record. Please refer to the attached license (the icon at the bottom of this entry) for further information and terms. All terms of the license have been followed. There are no changes in this article from the original posting
|Acquisition||Indexed from External Source (Per Rights Granted in Creative Commons License)|
|Review Type||External Review: Previously Published Material|
|Evidence Level||Clinical Practice Guideline(s)|
|Research Approach||Translational Research/Evidence-based Practice|
|Keywords||Health Care Providers;
|Citation||: Dohrn, J., Ferng, Y.-h., Shah, R., Diehl, E., & Frazier, L. (2022, January/February). Addressing mental and emotional health concerns experienced by nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurs Outlook, 70(1), 81 88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2021.07.009|
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