Aim: This study aimed to explore perceptions of the most salient sources of stress in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic in a sample of nurses who were working in Fujairah Primary health care during the year 2020-2021.
Background: During the pandemic process, nurses reported experiencing stress due to a very high risk of being infected and workload. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has exposed nurses to conditions that threaten their health, well-being, and ability to work. It is therefore critical to study nurses’ experiences and well-being during the current crisis to identify risk groups for ill health and potential sources of organizational intervention.
Method: A qualitative descriptive cross-sectional study with a sample consisting of 180 nurses working in Fujairah Primary health care centers. To collect data, an online survey questionnaire was formulated which was used together with the Perceived Stress Scale among a sample of 280 nurses who were working in Fujairah Primary health care 2021. Content analysis was conducted on nurses’ responses (n=180) for their perceptions.
Results: 180 nurses’ responses(N) were randomly chosen as samples in this current study of which the majority were female (n=161, 89.4%) and only 10.6%(n=19) were males. Findings revealed the distribution of respondents by stress level either low or moderate. 89.4% of respondents had moderate stress levels as compared to 10.6% with less stress. There is no presence of normal and high stress. There was no significant association between stress when compared to socioeconomic factors like age, gender, marital status, qualification, and job title (P > 0.05). But when it compared the relationship between working position and working area, it was showing a significant association (P ≤ 0.05).
Conclusion: Nearly more than half of the nurses in Fujairah primary health care centers perceived stress as the above average during the COVID-19 pandemic, and their working conditions also affected this situation. Implications for Nursing Management: Healthcare institutions should provide opportunities for nurses to discuss the stress they are experiencing, support one another, and make suggestions for workplace adaptations during this pandemic. Meeting physiological needs, and applying psychological guidance and counseling interventions in the stress management of nurses may contribute to the reduction of their stress levels. Effective infection control, reducing workload, increasing the number of nurses, and strengthening the coping mechanisms can minimize the perceived stress level of nurses.