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Nationwide Survey Highlights Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on Wellbeing in the Perioperative Workplace

Released on - 14/04/2021

Nationwide Survey Highlights Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on Wellbeing in the Perioperative Workplace

A survey carried out by the Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP) has highlighted concerns about the impact that the COVID-19 Pandemic is having on the wellbeing and mental health of perioperative workers.

The anonymous survey of nearly 700 responders asked a series of questions in a bid to find out more about how the pandemic is affecting not only staff wellbeing but also patient safety in the perioperative environment.

According to the survey over 70% of responders are concerned that their mental health and wellbeing has been affected the circumstances created by Covid-19. What’s more, one in four people who responded are not confident that they have the resilience to face the months ahead.

Dawn Stott, CEO at the Harrogate based charity explained: “As an organisation we take patient outcomes very seriously. It is well known that the Covid-19 pandemic is taking its toll on healthcare workers and we know that they continue to face enormous challenges. 

It is perhaps not surprising that nine out of 10 people who responded to our survey said that the pandemic has affected team dynamics but we were surprised that only just one in five said there is always a sense in the team that “we’re all in this together”.”

On a more positive note, 88% of responders felt that their workplace reacted quickly to implement policies and procedures to adapt to the challenges presented by Covid-19 . Furthermore, the vast majority of responders (87%) have a clear understanding of what they need to do to respond to the changes created by Covid-19.

However, 40% of practitioners who responded said that they do not feel that they had been given the support and training they required during their temporary redeployment as a result of the pandemic. What’s more, one in four responders did not feel adequately supported to cope with the current crisis.

Dawn added: “Half the people who responded to our survey told us that they often feel stressed in the operating theatre and nine out of 10 people felt that noise and distraction are issues that need to be resolved. On the plus side, most responders (80%) feel able to ask for quiet when they need to concentrate. Responders to the survey felt that the two areas for improvement that would make the most difference to helping the operating theatre team work more effectively were improved communication (75%) and the team supporting each other more (62%).”

Commenting on the survey results, Louise Ashton, marketing lead at AfPP said: “Obtaining first-hand knowledge of the challenges our members and the wider perioperative community are facing helps us to enhance our support to healthcare professionals. We’re continually looking for ways to support our members. Last year we entered into a partnership with Togetherall, an online mental health and wellbeing service, and in May we will be holding a round table discussion about mental health and PTSD in the perioperative environment”.

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