Lindsay Haskett

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Experiences of Secondary Traumatic Stress by Nurses Caring for COVID-19 Patients in Three Countries

The unique nature of the COVID-19 pandemic exposed nurses across the world to secondary traumatic stress (STS). Nursing in many situations is a high-stress environment, and nurses can experience mental health problems when working in high-pressure or high-risk scenarios, like the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, as nurses were working on the frontlines, they were being labeled “heroes” and “essential workers”. While recognition for their role during the pandemic is warranted, they were witnessing death and suffering of patients in a new way.

Many studies have examined nurses’ mental health and emotional experiences during the pandemic. However, none have measured STS and compared it among nurses in multiple countries. Professor Haskett and her research team wanted to describe the severity of STS among nurses caring for COVID-19 patients during the initial pandemic wave, compare the severity of STS among nurses from the United States, China, and Kenya, and describe nurses’ perceptions of their experiences caring for COVID-19 patients during the pandemic. Gaining a better understanding of the physical and emotional effects of caregiving for COVID-19 patients in this context is essential to inform practical support for nurses throughout all stages of the pandemic and in the future.

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Recent Submissions

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    Development and collaborations of a nursing workgroup within a bilateral global medical consortium
    (Sigma, 2020) Reid, Davika D.; von Gaudecker, Jane R.; Sila, Faith M.; Zuniga, Julie A.; Haskett, Lindsay A.; Tarus, Titus K.; Kyololo, O'Brian; Chelagat, Dinah J.; Abbyad, Christine W.; Garcia, Alexandra A.; Buelow, Janice
    We describe the formation of a bilateral nursing workgroup within a global medical consortium of North American and Kenyan healthcare providers and detail our collaboration to advance nursing care, education, and research to improve patient outcomes across a variety of specialties in acute care and community settings in both countries.
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    How resilient is your team? Exploring healthcare providers’ well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic
    (Elsevier, 2020-09-11) Huffman, Elizabeth M.; Athanasiadis, Dimitrios I.; Anton, Nicholas E.; Haskett, Lindsay A.; Doster, Dominique L.; Stefanidis, Dimitrios; Lee, Nicole K.; Surgery, School of Medicine
    Background: The global COVID-19 pandemic has placed tremendous physical and mental strain on the US healthcare system. Studies examining the effects of outbreaks have demonstrated both an increased prevalence and long-term development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms in healthcare providers. We sought to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the psychological well-being of medical providers, medical trainees, and administrators at a large academic center to identify stressors and moderators to guide future mental health and hospital-system interventions. Methods: A 42-item survey examining specific stressors, grit, and resilience was widely distributed to physicians, residents, fellows, and administrators a large academic institution for departmental distribution. Survey results were analyzed using descriptive statistics, ANOVA, and multivariate linear regressions. A p-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: A total of 785 participants completed the survey. The majority of respondents rated their stress to be significantly increased during the pandemic. Respondents’ fear of transmitting the virus to their family members was a significant stressor. Higher resilience was associated with lower stress, anxiety, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Overall, respondents felt supported by their departments and institution and felt contingency plans and personal protective equipment were adequate. Conclusions: Healthcare workers have increased resilience in the face of heightened stress during a pandemic. Higher resilience and grit were protective factors in managing personal and system-level stressors at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in our institution. Implementing an intervention designed to enhance healthcare workers’ resilience in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is warranted.