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Emergency clinicians’ knowledge, preparedness and experiences of managing COVID-19 during the 2020 global pandemic in Australian healthcare settings

Li, C, Sotomayor-Castillo, C, Nahidi, S, Kuznetsov, S, Considine, J, Curtis, K, Fry, M, Morgan, D, Walker, T, Burgess, A, Carver, H, Doyle, B, Tran, V ORCID: 0000-0002-8890-1457, Varshney, K and Shaban, RZ 2021 , 'Emergency clinicians’ knowledge, preparedness and experiences of managing COVID-19 during the 2020 global pandemic in Australian healthcare settings' , Australasian Emergency Care, vol. 24 , 186–196 , doi: 10.1016/j.auec.2021.03.008.

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Abstract

Background:Emergency clinicians have a crucial role during public health emergencies and have been at the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study examined the knowledge, preparedness and experiences of Australian emergency nurses, emergency physicians and paramedics in managing COVID-19.Methods:A voluntary cross-sectional study of members of the College of Emergency Nursing Australasia, the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, and the Australasian College of Paramedicine was conducted using an online survey (June-September 2020).Results:Of the 159 emergency nurses, 110 emergency physicians and 161 paramedics, 67.3–78% from each group indicated that their current knowledge of COVID-19 was ‘good to very good’. The most frequently accessed source of COVID-19 information was from state department of health websites. Most of the respondents in each group (77.6–86.4%) received COVID-19 specific training and education, including personal protective equipment (PPE) usage. One-third of paramedics reported that their workload ‘had lessened’ while 36.4–40% of emergency nurses and physicians stated that their workload had ‘considerably increased’. Common concerns raised included disease transmission to family, public complacency, and PPE availability.Conclusions:Extensive training and education and adequate support helped prepare emergency clinicians to manage COVID-19 patients. Challenges included inconsistent and rapidly changing communications and availability of PPE.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Li, C and Sotomayor-Castillo, C and Nahidi, S and Kuznetsov, S and Considine, J and Curtis, K and Fry, M and Morgan, D and Walker, T and Burgess, A and Carver, H and Doyle, B and Tran, V and Varshney, K and Shaban, RZ
Keywords: emergency care, emergency nurse, emergency physician, paramedics, COVID-19, pandemic
Journal or Publication Title: Australasian Emergency Care
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
ISSN: 2588-994X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.auec.2021.03.008
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2021 College of Emergency Nursing Australasia

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