Surviving an infectious disease outbreak: How does nurse calling influence performance during the COVID‐19 fight?

Yan ZHOU, Eric Adom ASANTE, Yiyu ZHUANG, Jie WANG, Lihua SHEN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

Abstract

Aim
To assess the performance of frontline nurses, who believed they were living out their calling, during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‐19) pandemic.

Background
Although as a profession nursing generally requires high levels of performance, the disruption arising from an infectious disease outbreak increases the work stress and decreases the performance of frontline nurses. How this situation can be improved has yet to be thoroughly examined.

Method
We used a snowball sampling technique to recruit 339 nurses who were originally from outside of Hubei but volunteered to join medical teams going to Hubei to tackle COVID‐19.

Results
Drawing on the theory of work as a calling, we found that living a calling had a positive effect on frontline nurses’ performance through the clinical and relational care they provided. Perceived supervisor support strengthened these mediated relationships.

Conclusion
Our findings indicate that despite the constraints associated with pandemics, frontline nurses who are living a calling are able to provide better clinical and relational care to infected patients, which in turn improves their performance.

Implications for Nursing Management
The findings of this study suggest that hospitals can introduce career education interventions to enhance nurses’ ability to discern and live out their calling to improve their performance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Nursing Management
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Oct 2020

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