Understanding the unique needs, experiences and strategies used by ICU nurses to be resilient during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Teenu Xavier, PhD, RN
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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic presented numerous challenges for nurses working in intensive care units (ICUs), leading to a significant impact on their mental and psychological well-being. Despite these challenges, resilience is recognized as a protective factor for ICU nurses that can enhance the well-being of healthcare professionals and enable them to cope effectively with stressors and challenges. But there is a gap in the literature about the experiences, unique needs, and resilience strategies used by ICU nurses in the United States (U.S.).
Purpose: The purpose of this dissertation research was to complete three interrelated projects in order to gain a better understanding of the unique needs and experiences of ICU nurses during COVID-19 and to explore the strategies they used to cope with the additional stressors brought on by the pandemic to promote their resilience.
Methods: Project 1 was an integrative review of the literature to identify the current state of the science related to resilience in ICU nurses. Using a focused ethnographical methodology and purposive sampling, the needs, experiences, and resilience strategies of nurses working in adult ICUs and who had taken care of COVID-19 patients during the pandemic were explored. Data collection took place through semi-structured in-depth virtual interviews.
Results: Project 1 included analysis of 13 studies that met the inclusion criteria. Results revealed the protective role of resilience against negative psychological outcomes, moral distress, and burnout. There were inconsistencies in the literature regarding the factors affecting resilience in ICU nurses. For project 2 and project 3, interviews were analyzed using a systematic approach as proposed by Roper and Shapira. Four overarching categories were identified: (a) navigating constantly changing landscape; (b) facing unique challenges and stressors (c) experiencing the impact of COVID-19 and (d) resilience strategies. ICU nurses faced numerous challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, including increased workload, staffing shortages, shortage of supplies and PPEs, and challenges related to changes in patient care, policies, nursing practice, and the environment. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted ICU nurses, both emotionally and physically, and the emotional toll of caring for them was stressful and challenging for them. Resilience strategies discussed by participants were categorized into workplace interventions and individual strategies.
Conclusion: The findings of this research underscore the importance of recognizing the unique needs and experiences of ICU nurses and implementing targeted interventions to enhance their resilience. By addressing these needs and providing adequate support, healthcare organizations can effectively support the well-being of ICU nurses, ultimately optimizing patient care in critical care settings.
This dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 30725444 ProQuest document ID: 2864733212. The author still retains copyright.
This item has not gone through this repository's peer-review process, but has been accepted by the indicated university or college in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the specified degree.
|Review Type||None: Degree-based Submission|
|Research Approach||Qualitative Research|
Intensive Care Unit
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