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“Covid Just Amplified the Cracks of the System”: Working as a Frontline Health Worker during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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journal contribution
posted on 20.10.2021, 04:08 authored by Karen Willis, Paulina Ezer, S Lewis, M Bismark, N Smallwood
The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified existing workplace stresses and created new challenges for people working on the healthcare frontline, including rapid workplace changes and increasing uncertainty at work, along with fear of contracting the virus. The purpose of this study is to examine the workplace challenges described by Australian frontline health workers during the pandemic. Drawing on a national online anonymous survey of 9518 healthcare workers, we analysed free-text responses to the question: “What did you find to be the main challenges that you faced during the pandemic?” A qualitative content analysis was undertaken. We identified five key themes relating to participant experiences of workplace challenges. These were: Work-life imbalance; Following orders or caring for patients; Unpredictability, disruption, and inconsistency at work; The right to be safe at work; and (Un)preparedness in the workplace. We argue that working during the COVID-19 pandemic illuminated existing occupational health and safety issues that have serious implications for job satisfaction, health workforce retention, and ultimately, patient care.

History

Publication Date

28/09/2021

Journal

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Volume

18

Issue

19

Article Number

10178

Pagination

15p.

Publisher

MDPI

ISSN

1660-4601

Rights Statement

© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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