Nurses and physicians responding to the COVID-19 pandemic are facing an extraordinarily high burden of burnout, depression, PTSD, moral distress and other psychological symptoms. This study will assess nurse and physician wellbeing and the factors in their work environment associated with well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic with an aim toward planning effective interventions to improve worker safety, health & well-being. We are conducting an analysis across four different inpatient settings (one academic medical center, 3 rural community hospitals including one critical access hospital); and, a before and after implementation of targeted improvement interventions for those work settings. We will use an innovative participatory mixed methods approach that combines data from validated surveys, focus groups and shadowing sessions with nurses and physicians (contextual inquiry). Results will be used to identify and rank interventions, which will then be validated and prioritized by the study participants. We will then collaborate with each hospital leadership team to work with local quality improvement teams to prioritize interventions according to organizational feasibility that will improve the well-being of these essential workers. We will also evaluate the impact of the targeted improvement interventions on nurse and physician well-being.

Study Highlights

Pre-improvement data collection to be completed by January 2023

We received 250 completed surveys and will complete 16 focus groups and 32 shadowing sessions.

Preliminary results from surveys confirms worrisome picture of clinicians’ overall wellbeing.

Our participants’ average scores for burnout, wellbeing, moral distress, depression, PTSD are suboptimal. This emphasizes the need for research and intervention to support clinicians.