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NCPD Connection

Nurse experience during the COVID-19 pandemic

Implications for nurse leaders

Nursing Management (Springhouse): May 2022 - Volume 53 - Issue 5 - p 1
doi: 10.1097/01.NUMA.0000831292.14704.56
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LEARNING OUTCOME: Seventy-five percent of participants will demonstrate knowledge of nurse leader implications regarding the nursing experience during the COVID-19 pandemic by achieving a minimum score of 70% on the outcomes-based posttest.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After completing this continuing professional development activity, the participant will be able to apply knowledge gained to: 1. Describe study findings that identified effective nursing leadership qualities during critical time periods of high stress. 2. Identify the purpose of the qualitative improvement (QI) project and types of nursing responses leading to creation of the themes generated from interviews. 3. Explain the implications identified by the QI project for nurse leaders to provide effective support to nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Prestia (2020) identified recommendations for leaders during the pandemic that included
    1. leaders making decisions without any input from nurses.
    2. communication that's truthful, mindful, and relevant to practice.
    3. reminding nurses that ethical standards don't apply during a pandemic.
  2. According to a review of 59 studies of nurses working during viral outbreaks, morbidity was reduced among clinicians when
    1. there was access to proper personal protective equipment (PPE).
    2. there was a lack of clear communication from leadership.
    3. the staff had minimal rest periods without available psychological support.
  3. The aim of this QI project was to use the relationship-based care model fundamentals to understand the COVID-19 pandemic experiences of
    1. patients receiving care at rural US hospitals.
    2. all healthcare providers at a single acute care hospital.
    3. nurses who worked at one hospital system of physician offices, urgent care, home care, and seven hospitals.
  4. Coding for question one was generated from analysis of the qualitative interviews. This question's coding had a theme titled “leadership,” which included a subcategory of
    1. team building.
    2. communication that was frequent and confusing.
    3. frequent changes in practice with rapidly changing requirements.
  5. Within the “professional practice” theme generated from the coding of question one, there's a subcategory of
    1. mental health effects due to stress, fear, and exhaustion.
    2. feeling unprepared to care for patients with COVID-19.
    3. staff shortages that varied by roles and units.
  6. Coding for question two included an improvement strategy for nurse input/presence in decision-making. An example of one nurse's statement listed as an “exemplar meaning unit” for this type of improvement is:
    1. “Utilizing frontline workers to help generate policy.”
    2. “For upper management to listen to staffing concerns.”
    3. “Communication being clear and concise. Getting right to the point.”
  7. “Theme four” addressed the need for a change in resources. For this theme, nurses identified that
    1. education on PPE was necessary.
    2. the organization mainly relied on an external labor pool.
    3. it was important to return to use of the traditional staffing models.
  8. This QI project determined improvement strategies for leadership and found there was a need to increase nurse preparedness and training. A leadership strategy suggestion for this topic is
    1. having staff watch a video about proper PPE use.
    2. using simulation experiences for skills acquisition.
    3. having scheduled time and a prepared speech for talking with patients' family members.
  9. Which of the following was suggested as a possible improvement strategy in the area of staff support?
    1. having daily huddles with all unit staff once per shift
    2. providing support to staff when working on unfamiliar units
    3. sending COVID special alert emails one to two times per week
  10. “Theme five” addressed the nurses' emotional experiences related to COVID-19, which
    1. were described as scary and stressful.
    2. were very different than the emotional experiences of nurses who lived in other countries.
    3. had minimal mental health impact on nurses because caring for patients with COVID-19 was simple.
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