Emergency Medicine Residents' Perceptions of Working and Training in a Pandemic Epicenter: A Qualitative Analysis.
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Journal titleThe western journal of emergency medicine
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AbstractWe sought to describe the range of emergency medicine (EM) resident physicians' perceptions and experiences of working and training during the initial coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic surge at two, large-volume, urban training hospitals in Brooklyn, New York.
A total of 25 EM resident physicians who worked at either of two large emergency departments (ED) from March 15-April 11, 2020 participated in semi-structured interviews conducted in July and August 2020. Interviews were conducted by the authors who were also emergency medicine resident physicians working in the ED during this time. We asked open-ended questions to residents about their experiences and emotions at work and outside of work, including their relationship with co-workers, patients, and their community. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. We then conducted a thematic analysis to identify, classify, and define themes from interview transcripts. Iterative commonalities and differences between interview response themes were grouped to create a broadly applicable narrative of the residents' perceptions and experiences of working and training during this initial wave of a novel pandemic. Interviewees also responded to a demographics survey.
Study participants described four major aspects of their perceptions and experiences of working and training during the stated time, including emotional challenges such as anxiety and feeling underappreciated; protective thoughts, including camaraderie, and sense of duty; workplace challenges such as limited knowledge surrounding COVID-19 and a higher volume of acute patients; and adaptive strategies including increased communication with ED administrators.
Emergency medicine residents have a unique perspective and were key frontline hospital responders during a prolonged disaster and mass triage event within a local health system. Considering the chronic case and mortality fluctuations and new variants of COVID-19, as well as the anticipation of future infectious disease pandemics, we believe it is important for key decision-makers in resident education, hospital administration, and all levels of public health management to inform themselves about residents' emotional and workplace challenges when establishing hospital and residency program disaster protocols.
CitationAurrecoechea A, Kadakia N, Pandya JV, Murphy MJ, Smith TY. Emergency Medicine Residents' Perceptions of Working and Training in a Pandemic Epicenter: A Qualitative Analysis. West J Emerg Med. 2022 Dec 30. doi: 10.5811/westjem.2022.9.57298. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36602489.
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