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Covid confessions: a qualitative exploration of health care workers experiences of working with covid-19

Bennett, Paul, Noble, Simon, Johnston, Stephen, Jones, David and Hunter, Rachael 2020. Covid confessions: a qualitative exploration of health care workers experiences of working with covid-19. BMJ Open 10 (12) , e043949. 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043949

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Abstract

Objectives To gain insight into the experiences and concerns of front-line National Health Service (NHS) workers while caring for patients with COVID-19. Design Qualitative analysis of data collected through an anonymous website (www.covidconfidential) provided a repository of uncensored COVID-19 experiences of front-line NHS workers, accessed via a link advertised on the Twitter feed of two high profile medical tweeters and their retweets. Setting Community of NHS workers who accessed this social media. Participants 54 healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses and physiotherapists, accessed the website and left a ‘story’. Results Stories ranged from 1 word to 10 min in length. Thematic analysis identified common themes, with a central aspect being the experience and psychological consequence of trauma. Specific themes were: (1) the shock of the virus, (2) staff sacrifice and dedication, (3) collateral damage ranging from personal health concerns to the long-term impact on, and care of, discharged patients and (4) a hierarchy of power and inequality within the healthcare system. Conclusions COVID-19 confidential gave an outlet for unprompted and uncensored stories of healthcare workers in the context of COVID-19. In addition to personal experiences of trauma, there were perceptions that many operational difficulties stemmed from inequalities of power between management and front-line workers. Learning from these experiences will reduce staff distress and improve patient care in the face of further waves of the pandemic.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN: 2044-6055
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 December 2020
Date of Acceptance: 30 November 2020
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2021 17:59
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/136846

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