‘You just don’t feel like your work goes recognised’: healthcare worker experiences of tension related to public discourse around the COVID-19 pandemic.

Publication date: Mar 29, 2024

To understand the impact of public discourse and reaction around the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare worker (HCW) experiences and well-being caring for patients with COVID-19. We conducted 60 min in-depth interviews with 11 physicians and 12 nurses who were providing care to patients with COVID-19 in acute care settings at two health systems in the Western USA. Interviews were conducted in Spring-Summer 2022 using a semi-structured interview protocol that guided respondents through different stages of the pandemic. Three themes emerged from the data around providing care in the unique social context of the COVID-19 pandemic including: (1) public polarisation and disagreement with science; (2) feelings of hope and optimism during the pandemic and (3) the compounded strain of providing care within this unique social context of the pandemic. To prepare for future pandemics, improved public health communications and social-emotional supports for HCWs are critical to ameliorate the physical and emotional impacts related to the social context of modern US pandemic response.

Concepts Keywords
Interviews COVID-19
Nurses health system
Pandemic mental health
Science politics


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease VO USA
disease VO protocol

Original Article

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