Head, Short-day studies BA Nursing Program
Lecturer, Department of Nursing, The Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions, Sackler Faculty of Medicine.
In the last two years, the issue of dealing with a disaster or mass-casualty event has taken on real meaning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One component of successful coping with the patient load following a mass casualty event such as a pandemic, where there is a high number of patients in critical condition, is the functioning of healthcare staff in general and nurses in particular. Since nurses make up about two-thirds of the workforce in the health professions, it is crucial to examine factors related to nurses’ willingness to report to work in emergency situations and nurses’ functioning during emergencies.
In my previous studies, I have found that patriotism, self-efficacy of functioning in an emergency, risk perception, and feminine gender were among the factors affecting nurses’ willingness to report to the workplace during disasters.
I also examined the difficulties and dilemmas faced by the staff at the mental health center in Be'er Ya'akov and at the Barzilai General Hospital in Ashkelon under missile attacks from Gaza during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
I found that appropriate policies for the functioning of clinical teams and management and the continuous conveying of information between the management and the wards were essential during an ongoing emergency.
I also found that the greater the preparedness for functioning during missile attacks and the clarity of the management's guidelines, the higher the department's ability to deal with the emergency and the perceived level of personal functioning.
In another study that examined the functioning of nurses in the treatment of COVID-19 patients/suspected cases, I found that feelings experienced by nurses while providing treatment (such as sense of professional pride and mission, being appreciated by others, etc.) mediated the relationship between clarity of guidance and staff emotional management provided by the administration, and between nurses’ professional functioning.