Goniewicz M, Khorram-Manesh A, Włoszczak-Szubzda A, Lasota D, Al-Wathinani AM, Goniewicz K
J Glob Health 13 (-) 06034 [2023-08-14; online 2023-08-14]
The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has placed unprecedented challenges on the nursing practice, particularly in Poland. Nurses, as crucial healthcare service providers, have faced organisational disruptions, altered working conditions, and heightened professional anxieties. We undertook a comprehensive survey across all medical centres in Lublin, Poland in 2020 to understand nurses' attitudes towards their roles and working conditions during the pandemic. This involved 470 nurses completing a questionnaire which focused on four pivotal areas: readiness to be on call in a disaster situation (even when not formally asked); willingness to work overtime in a disaster without additional compensation, preparedness to undertake health risks by caring for individuals with infectious diseases or exposure to hazardous substances, and willingness to be transferred to other departments during a disaster. We found that excessive workload, fear of infection, and feelings of helplessness significantly influenced nurses' readiness to work overtime, particularly when unpaid. We also presented the ethical dilemmas that nurses encountered during the pandemic and how these dilemmas affected their decision-making processes. We further explored the impact of variables such as nurses' professional experience, tenure, and level of organisational preparedness on their readiness to respond to crisis situations. Gaining an understanding of nurses' perspectives is key for formulating strategies to bolster their professional engagements and resilience during crises. Addressing these issues can help build a more robust and well-prepared healthcare system that can effectively navigate future crises.