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Survey highlights NCHD stress during first Covid-19 wave

A significant number of NCHDs feared their hospital would not be able to cope during the first wave of Covid-19 last year, according to a survey.

The results of the survey were presented at the Irish Society for Medical Oncology (ISMO) meeting, which was held virtually, was was streamed live from the Fintan Gunne Theatre, Catherine McAuley Centre, Mater Misercordiae University Hospital on Friday 29 January.

Dr Abdul Farooq, Cork University Hospital, made a presentation to the meeting entitled ‘Professional and personal opinions of doctors in training during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic’.

The presentation was based upon results of a survey delivered via Survey Monkey to doctors in training from 27 March to 6 April 2020.

The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) was incorporated to gauge respondent stress as they prepared for the impact of Covid-19.

A total of 285 participants engaged with 197 (69 per cent) completing all questions.

Almost 86 per cent of respondents had been trained in donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE) and nearly 85 per cent felt confident in the process. Overall, most respondents felt somewhat prepared (60 per cent) or well-prepared (20 per cent) to treat Covid-19 patients.

However, 42 per cent worried that their hospital would struggle, or not cope at all. In particular, 91 per cent highlighted the risk of running out of PPE.

Family health (86 per cent), personal health (72 per cent) and social life (47 per cent) topped the list of NCHD concerns. According to the PSS, the majority of respondents (62 per cent) had moderate stress.

“A significant majority had moderate stress,” according to Dr Farooq. “Additional supports for doctors in training are essential to aid stress and manage concerns better.”

*see the 25 February issue of the Medical Independent for full ISMO conference coverage

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