Healthcare in general and Emergency Departments (ED) in particular are stressful environments associated with excessive work demands, long hours and often limited support.
These pressures are compounded by staff shortages, fiscal constraints and increased ED presentations and patient acuity. Against this background where resources are so stretched, the COVID-19 pandemic poses intense and prolonged pressure.
The cumulative impact of chronic stress adversely affects the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of ED staff, leading to burn-out and to difficulties with staff recruitment and retention, decreased morale and job satisfaction.
Promoting staff wellness may enhance their ability to cope with occupational stress through support systems, development of resilience and building social connection. However engaging staff who are chronically stressed is a challenge.
It has never been timelier to identify effective evidenced based strategies that promote wellness and can be rigorously evaluated for the ED context. This project aims to qualitatively assess ED staff perceptions of Workplace Wellbeing activities, their views on measures to improve engagement, and perceptions of how to improve staff engagement with these interventions, especially in the context of chronic workplace stress.