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Nurs Ethics ; 27(4): 924-934, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453014


BACKGROUND: Fifteen years have passed since the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in Hong Kong. At that time, there were reports of heroic acts among professionals who cared for these patients, whose bravery and professionalism were highly praised. However, there are concerns about changes in new generation of nursing professionals. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to examine the attitude of nursing students, should they be faced with severe acute respiratory syndrome patients during their future work. RESEARCH DESIGN: A questionnaire survey was carried out to examine the attitude among final-year nursing students to three ethical areas, namely, duty of care, resource allocation, and collateral damage. ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS: This study was carried out in accordance with the requirements and recommendations of the Central Research and Ethics Committee, School of Health Sciences at Caritas Institute of Higher Education. FINDINGS: Complete responses from 102 subjects were analyzed. The overwhelming majority (96.1%) did not agree to participate in the intubation of severe acute respiratory syndrome patients if protective measures, that is, N95 mask and gown, were not available. If there were insufficient N95 masks for all the medical, nursing, and allied health workers in the hospital (resource allocation), 37.3% felt that the distribution of N95 masks should be by casting lot, while the rest disagreed. When asked about collateral damage, more than three-quarters (77.5%) said that severe acute respiratory syndrome patients should be admitted to intensive care unit. There was sex difference in nursing students' attitude toward severe acute respiratory syndrome care during pregnancy and influence of age in understanding intensive care unit care for these patients. Interestingly, 94.1% felt that there should be a separate intensive care unit for severe acute respiratory syndrome patients. CONCLUSION: As infection control practice and isolation facilities improved over the years, relevant knowledge and nursing ethical issues related to infectious diseases should become part of nursing education and training programs, especially in preparation for outbreaks of infectious diseases or distress.

Attitude of Health Personnel , Disease Outbreaks , Ethics, Nursing , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Students, Nursing/psychology , Adult , Female , Health Care Rationing , Hong Kong , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Patient Admission , Standard of Care , Surveys and Questionnaires