Research from the University of East Anglia indicates that people who were on the front lines of the Covid outbreak need mental health care in order to cope with or recover from the stress and trauma they endured. A recent investigation looks into how the epidemic has affected nurses who work in nursing homes. It demonstrates how the position they found themselves in left the care home nurses unprepared, which had an adverse effect on their mental health and welfare.
According to the research team, these frontline workers require a mental health and wellness approach to support recovery from the trauma and moral distress symptoms they experienced during the epidemic. Our data demonstrates that care home nurses were totally unprepared for the unprecedented scenario they found themselves in during the Covid-19 outbreak, and that this has harmed their mental health and wellbeing, according to lead researcher Diane Bunn from UEA’s School of Health Sciences.
They had to treat residents who already had advanced clinical symptoms for a highly contagious new disease with a high fatality rate. In addition to personnel shortages, continuously shifting and conflicting regulations, and little assistance from outside professionals, they managed to do this. Staff in the health and social care fields are still very much in the healing process. They need time to process all that occurred during the epidemic, and many of them will require counselling and ongoing mental health care. “Supporting care home nurses to recover from the pandemic is essential to maintain a healthy, stable workforce.”
In homes for older persons in England and Scotland, the study team conducted in-depth interviews with care home nurses about their experiences with the epidemic. They paid close attention to the nurses’ mental health and resiliency. According to the nurses Bunn and her team spoke with, they were all focused on the needs of their patients while neglecting their own needs, which had a negative impact on their wellbeing.
There are several lessons that may be applied to aid in their rehabilitation and guarantee that the right regulations are in place in anticipation of the next pandemic, she continued. The study offers recommendations on how to better prepare for next pandemics as well as a number of ways to assist nurses in accepting and recovering from their experiences.
– Developing a customised mental health and wellbeing plan for care home nurses throughout the present pandemic recovery phase and making sure that this is continuous and adaptable for next pandemics and catastrophes.
– Greater government and professional acknowledgement of the specialised abilities needed by care home nurses.
– Review recommendations to better prepare for pandemics and calamities that may affect nursing homes.
involvement of nursing staff in creating disaster response procedures in nursing homes.
– Uniformity of recommendations and techniques for communicating recommendations that are based on research.
“Support for care home nurses will likely benefit other care-home workers either directly through wider roll-out, or indirectly through improved wellbeing of nurse leaders,” added Bunn.
The University of East Anglia served as the project’s principal investigator in cooperation with scientists from the University of Leicester. The Burdett Trust for Nursing and the National Institute for Health and Care Research provided funding for it (NIHR). On December 6, 2022, the Journal of Nursing Scholarship will publish “Care-home Nurses’ Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Managing Ethical Conundrums at Personal Cost: A Qualitative Study.”