Trainee doctors’ experiences of learning and well-being while working in intensive care during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative study using appreciative inquiry


Posted on 27 May 2021 (Permalink)

A qualitative study using peer-to-peer semistructured interviews, developed using appreciative inquiry methodology, was conducted during July 2020. Responses were analysed using a thematic analysis technique.

Forty interviews were conducted and four over-arching themes were identified. These were: feeling safe and supported; physical demands; the emotional burden of caring; and a sense of fulfillment, value and personal development. Positive aspects of the organisational response to the pandemic included communication, personal protective equipment supply, team working and well-being support. Suggestions for improvement focused on rest facilities, rota patterns and hierarchies, creating opportunities for reflection and ensuring continued educational and training opportunities despite operational demands.

All trainees in anaesthesia and intensive care working on the intensive care unit during the first surge were invited to participate. Forty interviews were conducted and four over-arching themes were identified. These were: feeling safe and supported; physical demands; the emotional burden of caring; and a sense of fulfilment, value and personal development. Positive aspects of the organisational response to the pandemic included communication, personal protective equipment supply, team working and well-being support. Suggestions for improvement focused on rest facilities, rota patterns and hierarchies, creating opportunities for reflection and ensuring continued educational and training opportunities despite operational demands.

Trainees described opportunities for learning and fulfilment, as well as challenges, in working through a pandemic. Trainees described their needs and how well these were met during the pandemic. Ideas for improvement most frequently related to basic needs including safety and fatigue, but suggestions also related to supporting learning and development. The appreciative inquiry methodology of the project facilitated effective reflection on positive aspects of trainee experiences.

Read the full article here