Diverse implications of a national health crisis: A qualitative exploration of community nurses' SARS experiences

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Canadian Journal of Nursing Research





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Adaptation, Psychological, adaptive behavior, article, Attitude of Health Personnel, burnout, Burnout, Professional, Canada, Communication, community health nursing, Community nursing, cost of illness, Disease Outbreaks, education, empathy, epidemic, Family, health care policy, health personnel attitude, Health Policy, health service, Health Services Needs and Demand, human, Humans, Infection control, Infectious diseases, interpersonal communication, Narration, nurse attitude, Nurse's Role, nursing, nursing methodology research, nursing staff, Ontario, organization, Organizational Culture, organization and management, psychological aspect, Qualitative methodology, qualitative research, questionnaire, Questionnaires, SARS, Severe acute respiratory syndrome, statistics, verbal communication, workplace


The purpose of this study was to enhance our understanding of the influence of the SARS crisis on the work and personal lives of community nurses. A total of 941 community nurses employed in a range of health-care settings in the province of Ontario, Canada, provided qualitative information about their perceptions of the impact of SARS in their workplace and in their personal lives. Themes and subthemes from the data were organized into 2 categories: The Experience (operational, organizational, and personal narratives), and Learning from the Experience (opportunities for personal learning, professional and policy development, and insight into policy and administrative implications). The findings are discussed within a framework of the learning opportunity presented by the crisis at the local, national, and international levels. The roles of effective communication, emergency response coordination, and education are considered with respect to policy development and administrative responses to infectious disease protocol. The findings are particularly relevant at this time of heightened fear of global epidemics. © McGill University School of Nursing.