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J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs ; 50(6): 742-752, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1392426


OBJECTIVE: To examine the roles and experiences of labor and delivery (LD) nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Online distribution between the beginning of July and end of August 2020. PARTICIPANTS: LD nurses (N = 757) responded to an open-ended question about changes to their roles during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a larger national survey. METHODS: We calculated descriptive statistics on respondents' characteristics and their hospitals' characteristics. We applied conventional content analysis to free-text comments. RESULTS: We derived four major categories from the responses: Changes in Roles and Responsibilities, Adaptations to Changes, Psychological Changes, and Perceived Effects on LaborSupport. Nearly half (n = 328) of respondents reported changes in their roles and responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. They described adaptations and responses to these changes and perceived effects on patient care. Infection control policies and practices as well as the stress of a rapidly changing work environment affected the provision of labor support and personal well-being. CONCLUSION: The experiences described by respondents conveyed considerable changes in their roles and subsequent direct and indirect effects on quality of patient care and personal well-being. Policies and practices that can facilitate the ability of LD nurses to safely and securely remain at the bedside and provide high-touch, hands-on labor support are needed. The findings of our study can help facilitate the provision of labor support during times of disruption and foster the resiliency of the nursing workforce.

COVID-19/nursing , Delivery, Obstetric/nursing , Nurses/psychology , Pregnant Women/psychology , Prenatal Care/psychology , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Delivery, Obstetric/psychology , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States/epidemiology