Experiences of nursing students as healthcare aid during the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain: A phemonenological research study.

Published on Feb 1, 2021in Nurse Education Today2.49
· DOI :10.1016/J.NEDT.2020.104711
Claudia Casafont1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Barcelona),
Núria Fabrellas13
Estimated H-index: 13
(University of Barcelona)
+ 8 AuthorsAdelaida Zabalegui24
Estimated H-index: 24
(University of Barcelona)
Abstract Background The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a worldwide health and social crisis directly impacting the healthcare system. Hospitals had to rearrange its structure to meet clinical needs. Spain has been experiencing a shortage of working nurses. Student nurses in their last year at university were employed to help the National Health System respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Aim The aim of this study was to explore and understand the experience of nursing students' roles as healthcare aid in responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Methods A qualitative phenomenology design was used to explore undergraduate nursing students' perceptions of their experiences as HAs during the COVID-19 outbreak. Open face-to-face interviews were conducted to nursing students (n = 10) in May 2020. Data was analyzed using the hermeneutic interpretative approach. Results All participants were women aged between 21 and 25 years. Seven main themes emerged: learning, ambivalent emotions and adaptation were classified at a personal level; teamwork, patient communication, and unclear care processes were categorized under hospital structure; and coping mechanisms were part of external factors. Conclusions Orientation, follow-up, and emotional support in crisis situations are key to unexperienced healthcare workers overcoming stressful emotions. Previous academic education and training may help novice future nurses feel more confident about their tasks and responsibilities as well as improve patient outcomes, resource management, and staff safety.
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