Critical Care Nurse Intentions to Report to Work During an Influenza Pandemic
BACKGROUND: The influenza virus is uniquely capable of creating pandemic illness in our population. The unpredictability of pandemics necessitates plans that will allow registered nurses to expand current capacity to care for ill individuals. It has been documented that personnel resources, often nurses, are a limiting factor in the health care system’s ability to care for large influxes of patients. Prior research has shown that an outbreak of an infectious disease, such as influenza, may lead to healthcare workers (HCWs) intentionally staying out of work. The potential increase in patient demand coupled with a decrease in the number of critical care nurses reporting to work will strain the ability of healthcare systems to meet the needs of patients. To date, research has not studied critical care nurses’ intentions to report to work during a pandemic influenza. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the percent of critical care nurses that intend to report to work during an influenza pandemic. Covariates that may influence CCNs intention to report included personal, professional, and employer characteristics. Additionally, the impact of threat (perceived susceptibility to influenza and perceived severity of an influenza pandemic) and efficacy (perceived self-efficacy and perceived efficacy of the overall response) on intentions were analyzed. METHODS: A cross-sectional and descriptive design was utilized. Participants were recruited through the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. The final sample totaled 245 critical care nurses from across the United States. The participants completed an adapted version of the Johns Hopkins Public Health Infrastructure Response Survey Tool (JH~PHIRST) as well as personal demographics and information on their primary employer. Data were analyzed using bivariate methods and logistic regression. RESULTS: This study found that nearly 87% of CCNs intend to report during a pandemic flu, but this number drops to 78% if severity of the pandemic is factored in and further declines to 63% if the CCNs are asked to work extra. Perceived self-efficacy is a primary factor in explaining CCNs intend to report to work. CCNs with high perceived self-efficacy were6.221 (95% CI: 2.638-14.673) times more likely to report than those with low perceived self-efficacy. Perceived self-efficacy continues to significantly impact intentions to report to work when the severity of the pandemic is considered as well as when CCNs are asked to work extra. CCNs with high perceived self-efficacy are consistently, significantly more likely to intend to report than those with low perceived self-efficacy. CONCLUSION: Perceived self-efficacy is related to CCN intentions to report to work during a pandemic flu emergency. Future research should examine methods for increasing CCN perceived self-efficacy, including professional, educational and employment factors.