Nurse Engagement During Covid-19 Pandemic

by - April 05, 2021

Being an individual who directly provides care to the COVID-19 patients is a difficult thing to do because they are exposed to many challenges and uncertainties. Being a nurse during this time of pandemic is not an easy job to do because they are at risk for becoming infected. They are experiencing stress, depression, anxiety, and insomnia that affects their mental health. The physical exhaustion that they are feeling is serious because of the increased workload and working hours and the additional precautionary method that they need to do. Stigmatization and feeling of isolation is also present to them because they are considered to be a possible carrier of the coronavirus. That is why the COVID-19 pandemic greatly affects the nurses’ work engagement.

According to Allande-Cussó et al. (2021), during the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses' work engagement are higher compared when the pandemic is not occurring. It just tells us that nurses feel so committed to working because of the realization that they are the in demand front liners because they directly give care to the people who got infected by this disease. They exert a high levels of energy, self-esteem, and sense of belongingness while they are working because it gives them a strong meaning and recognition in the society since the media positively favors them. The authors also mentioned that due to the good leadership style and support from their superiors during this time of health crisis, their work engagement is increasing, thus reducing their risk to develop major depressive episodes.

Additionally, according to Malik, Khan, Mahmood, and Ilyas (2020), authentic leaders have a potential mechanism to evoke moral emotions of the nurses through mediating mechanisms of emotions, psychological abilities, and trust that could lead to an increased work engagement. Leaders are known to create a perfect context for professional development, growth, and environment that is why nurses feel psychological safety. It is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic can weaken the authentic leader and moral emotions, however the research showed that it remains positive despite the threat of the coronavirus. It just showed that the compassion emotion of both the leaders and the nurses cannot be affected by the threat of the coronavirus because this is the core emotions of the healthcare workers, thus making them truly selfless professionals.

Furthermore, according to Gómez‐Salgado et al (2020), healthcare professionals with psychological distress have a lower work engagement. Among the healthcare professionals, the nurses exhibit a high psychological distress because they are continuously in direct contact with patients with COVID-19 virus. However, the research revealed that nurses still have a higher work engagement despite the pandemic because of their strong commitment to care. Nurses have autonomy, task identity, feedback, and a supportive and positive work environment thus making them to have a sense of responsibility and meaning that intrinsically makes them more motivated and committed to their work.

Despite the fact that nurses are psychologically distressed, they still make sure that it won’t affect their work engagement. Their commitment to serve during this time of crisis is still being observed, which is why I highly respect them for their strong sense of duty. They really valued what they oath because they really cared for their patients despite the risk of becoming infected. They are the front liners that should be seen as a high individual for the never-ending selfless acts. That is why, the government and hospital administrations should give more proper programs that could elevate the nurses’ engagement not only during the pandemic but also during the normal situation.

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