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Title: The transformational experience of junior nurses resulting from providing care to COVID-19 patients: From facing hurdles to achieving psychological growth
Author(s): Yip, Jeffrey Yuk Chiu 
Yip, Ka Huen 
Tsui, Zoe Wai King 
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: MDPI
Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 
Volume: 18
Issue: 14
The rapid spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has put significant pressure on junior nursing staff. The objective of this study was to examine the in-depth experiences of junior nurses in providing care for COVID-19 patients within an acute care setting. This study employed a phenomenological method to understand the situation from a first-person perspective. Purposive sampling was used. Interviews were performed with 40 junior nurses (<4 years of clinical experience) who provided direct care to COVID-19 patients in isolation wards in acute care settings in Hong Kong. The interviews were conducted from 1 January 2021 to 24 May 2021 via virtual conferencing software (Zoom) to maintain social distancing, and the responses were analysed using Colaizzi’s seven-step method. Junior nurses’ psychological experiences of providing direct care to COVID-19 patients were categorised into four main themes. First, there were hurdles in the early stages, in which participants experienced negative emotions, such as fear, anxiety, helplessness, and fatigue. Somatic symptoms, such as headaches and sleep disturbance, were reported. Second, the adoption of self-care coping strategies enabled nurses to confront the hurdles, signifying the start of self-transformation. Third, junior nurses maintained positivity under pressure by appreciating their sources of support (including their families and other important relationships in their lives). Professionalism was also found to reinforce positivity. Fourth, self-transformation resulted in psychological growth, which prepared junior nurses to be resilient and confident in their clinical practice to take up future challenges in the ongoing battle against the pandemic. The hurdles experienced by junior nurses at the early stage of their work in isolation wards provided the foundation upon which self-transformation took place. Being able to employ self-care coping strategies and further sustain positivity characterised the self-transformation process. Eventually, junior nurses became resilient and more capable of understanding both the negativity and positivity of their experiences. The self-transformation process also enabled junior nurses to recognise and appreciate the wider support system from various parties in society.
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18147383
CIHE Affiliated Publication: Yes
Appears in Collections:HS Publication

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