2 September 2020
Four-fifths of British care home nurses would assess their experience of working during the coronavirus pandemic as "very negative", according to a new snapshot survey, reports the Nursing Times.
During May and June 2020, the Queen's Nursing Institute (QNI) polled members of its UK Care Home Nurses Network to find out how they were coping with the crisis.
The ANMF in all Australian states and territories is similarly now carrying out a survey to assess the impact of COVID on the nursing, midwifery and personal care professions.
In total, 163 nurses and managers responded to the British survey, which was conducted by the QNI International Community Nursing Observatory (ICNO).
Of those surveyed, 114 were registered nurses and most respondents cared for older people.
Findings from the survey found that 80% of respondents had "very negative experiences" of working during the pandemic, the Nursing Times reports.
Examples cited by nurses included “not being valued” and “feeling unsupported/blamed for deaths”.
Others said they had “poor terms and conditions” of employment and that they experienced “colleagues in other areas refusing to help”.
Of those who had negative experiences, they also reported “feeling pressured” to take residents from hospital with unknown COVID-19 status and had a “lack of clear guidance”.
Meanwhile, nurses' own physical and mental wellbeing had suffered in many cases.
Crystal Oldman, QNI chief executive, said the survey findings provided an “opportunity to consider and plan for the support systems” that could be needed for a potential second wave of Covid-19, the Nursing Times reports.
“More needs to be done to understand the effect of COVID-19 on the workforce and residents in care homes,” she added.
“Urgent attention must be paid to the sector if the workforce is to withstand the additional demands of the pandemic, particularly in planning, guidance and employment practices.”
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation in all states and territories have partnered with the Rosemary Bryant AO Research Centre to launch a national COVID-19 Workforce Survey to gain a better understanding of the effects COVID-19 has had on the nursing, midwifery and personal care workforce in Australia.
The ANMF (SA Branch) is urging nurses, midwives and personal care workers to take part and share the COVID-19 Workforce Survey with their colleagues.
As Australia continues to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, this survey is an opportunity for nurses, midwives and personal care workers to provide feedback on the implications for their professional practice and occupational wellbeing.
People can take part in the survey by visiting https://is.gd/covidandwork