Experiences, emotional responses, and coping skills of nursing students as auxiliary health workers during the peak COVID-19 pandemic: A qualitative study

Judith Roca, Olga Canet-Vélez, Tània Cemeli, Ana Lavedán, Olga Masot, Teresa Botigué

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The COVID-19 crisis in Spain has exacerbated the shortage of nursing staff to respond to increasing healthcare demands. For this reason, nursing students were requested to collaborate voluntarily as auxiliary health staff. This emergency has led to mental health problems in health professionals, hence the relevance of coping techniques. The objectives of this study were to explore the experiences and emotional responses of final-year nursing students who volunteered to carry out healthcare relief tasks during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to identify the coping strategies they adopted to deal with this situation. A qualitative study was conducted in the constructivist paradigm. Purposive sampling was used, and twenty-two students participated in semi-structured interviews, which were then content-analysed. The study is reported using the COREQ checklist. Five themes emerged in the ‘Experiences and emotional response’ dimension (context, patients, emotions and feelings, risk of contagion, and personal satisfaction), and three themes emerged in the ‘Coping strategies’ dimension strategies in the work environment, in daily life and personal life. Although the students expressed negative emotions due to the highly complex context and lack of professional experience, they evaluated the experience positively in terms of learning and usefulness. Most notably, the students employed adaptive coping strategies to deal with the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1080-1092
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Coping strategies
  • Emotion
  • Nursing
  • Student

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Experiences, emotional responses, and coping skills of nursing students as auxiliary health workers during the peak COVID-19 pandemic: A qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this