The outbreak of COVID-19 is having, and will have, a considerable impact on health services in Australia, but little is known about the psychosocial effects of this outbreak on health care professionals, particularly nurses and midwives who are the largest occupational group in a health service and have direct and intense patient contact.
COVID-19 has had serious implications for health services such as Western Health who have implemented a number of measures aimed at protecting staff safety and providing best care for patients.
These measures include infection control strategies such as the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), restricted visiting hours and visiting numbers, screening (temperature) of staff and visitors at hospital entrances, implementation of telehealth services for outpatient clinics, reduction in non-urgent face to face appointments, suspension of the on-site volunteer program, and changes to interpreting and pastoral care services.
In considering these measures, the aim of this study is to assess the psychosocial impact of COVID-19 on nurses and midwives at Western Health. Its findings will inform interventions and support for nursing and midwifery staff to address their psychosocial distress and concerns during the current and future outbreaks of infectious diseases.