The development of the COVID-19 pandemic is a crucial issue for numerous medical workers, who continue attending to the infected individuals. Multiple reports have raised significant concerns regarding the physical and psychological well-being of the nursing personnel, impacted by the rising demands for patient care (Arnetz et al., 2020; Leng et al., 2021; Labrague & Santos, 2020). The current study focuses on the lack of nursing staff caused by the mental toll of the epidemic, an issue that encompasses multiple clinical organizations worldwide. This research’s purpose is to explore the psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic leading to nursing shortages, which is to be achieved by utilizing a qualitative Grounded Theory (GT) approach.
To gather the necessary data, 30 full-time registered nurses from the acute care hospital departments in West-Central Florida with at least a two-year working experience who directly interact with patients will be interviewed. The collected information will be coded and analyzed following Corbin’s GT evidence management approach, outlining the thematic categories. Based on the attained results, it might be possible to establish how the mental pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic is connected to the nursing shortages in hospital settings.
Considering the discussed information, it is possible to suggest that the results of the proposed research could provide additional insight into the nature of the nursing shortages in the current environment. The psychological effects of the ongoing epidemic can be especially useful for understanding the mental complications experienced by the nursing personnel. From this perspective, the present research might contribute to the investigations in the sphere of COVID-19’s impact on the mental factors influencing the delivery of health care by the nursing staff. Furthermore, the gained results may improve the existing knowledge regarding nurse shortages and the psychological factors originating from the lack of nursing personnel.
Given that the suggested study utilizes a qualitative research framework, it might be beneficial for distinguishing the major concerns connected to the COVID-19 epidemic as expressed by the nurses. In addition, the findings may reveal problematic areas in the nursing personnel’s well-being that should be addressed to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic and enhance the employees’ resilience to psychological pressure. Finally, prominent thematic categories will be derived from the nurses’ interviews, potentially offering a basis for establishing the connections between the participants’ areas of concern.
The results of the proposed research could be advantageous for the nursing communities influenced by the tremendous health care demands created by the COVID-19 virus development. Following the insights from similar research, the study outcomes may allow establishing beneficial methods for battling the fear of becoming infected by the Coronavirus. This factor has been considered a prominent aspect of the decrease the nurses’ well-being (Arnetz et al., 2020). Considering that the constant pressure of contracting the virus is highly stressful for the nursing personnel and may diminish their life quality, reducing the infection risk could mitigate such concerns, promoting the nurses’ mental resilience (Arnetz et al., 2020).
By implementing measures that provide the employees with the necessary prevention equipment and supplies that effectively decrease the possibility of infection, hospitals could ensure the psychological welfare of the nursing workers in the current environment. Another implication of the research results could be the introduction of workplace initiatives that promote mental stability among the employees. Addressing the increased rate of PTSD emergence among the nurses working with COVID-19 patients is vital for elevating the nurses’ quality of life (Leng et al., 2021). Such practices as additional training and sufficient psychological support could be especially effective in preventing the adverse outcomes of the elevated mental toll, potentially leading to lower shortage levels.
Following the idea of organizational support, it is possible that the clinical institutions’ involvement in upholding the well-being of the nursing personnel could mitigate the occurrence of work-related anxiety. Given that nurses experience significant stress while attending to COVID-19-infected patients, acknowledging these issues and implementing effective leadership practices might contribute to the enhancement of the employees’ motivation (Labrague & Santos, 2020). In the long term, successful leadership and the creation of a productive working environment during a health crisis could improve the nurses’ morale and prevent the surges in the shortage rates.
Finally, maintaining an appropriate level of working conditions for the nursing personnel is another factor that should be addressed by the medical enterprises seeking to elevate the nurses’ quality of life. The nursing employees’ satisfaction with be working environment has been reported to decrease substantially after the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic, supposedly resulting in high levels of nurse shortages (Häussl et al., 2021). From this perspective, establishing a working environment that could increase the nurses’ level of content might be a prominent method for battling the harmful effects of the pandemic. Promoting financial support, achievement recognition, and performance benefits may be beneficial for securing a better degree of job fulfillment, possibly improving the nurses’ welfare, and mitigating the rising shortage levels.
Arnetz, J. E., Goetz, C. M., Arnetz, B. B., & Arble, E. (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(21). Web.
Häussl, A., Ehmann, E., Pacher, A., Knödl, K., Huber, T., Neundlinger, L., Osmanovic, A., Plank‐Straner, A., Walter, P., Schüssler, S., & Schoberer, D. (2021). Psychological, physical, and social effects of the covid‐19 pandemic on hospital nurses. International Nursing Review. Web.
Labrague, L.J., & Santos, J.A. (2020). Covid-19 anxiety among front-line nurses: Predictive role of organizational support, personal resilience, and social support. Journal of Nursing Management, 28(7), 1653-1661. Web.
Leng, M., Wei, L., Shi, X., Cao, G., Wei, Y., Xu, H., Zhang, X., Zhang, W., Xing, S., & Wei, H. (2021). Mental distress and influencing factors in nurses caring for patients with COVID‐19. Nursing in Critical Care, 26(2), 94-101. Web.