Eileen T. Lake, PhD: Distress Among Nurses During COVID-19

A lack of PPE and high patient volumes were the leading causes of distress for nurses.

It has been a stressful time for all health care personnel, especially frontline nurses.

High volumes of patients in crisis, high fatality rates, and concern over their own health can be damaging to the collective mental health of nurses.

And as the pandemic continues, rates of burn out continue to skyrocket within the profession.

Recently, a team led by Eileen T. Lake, PhD, MSN, MA, BSN, FAAN, the Jessie M. Scott Endowed Term Chair in Nursing and Health Policy, Professor of Nursing and Sociology, and Associate Director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, examined exactly how debilitating the pandemic has been to the collective mental health of nurses.

The investigators identified the main factors associated with emotional distress in an effort to better prepare the profession for future crisis situations.

The main takeaways of the study show a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), coupled with increased patient volume factored into the distress of nurses.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Lake explained how the results of the study could drive policy changes within the ranks of nurses in order to help alleviate some of the mental health and distress concerns.