Willingness to work amongst Australian frontline healthcare workers during Australia's first wave of covid-19 community transmission: Results of an online survey
Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Cambridge University Press
School of Medical and Health Sciences
The majority of research investigating healthcare workers' (HCWs) willingness to work during public health emergencies asks participants to forecast their perceptions based on hypothetical emergencies, rather than in response to actual public health emergencies they have experienced. This research explored frontline HCWs willingness to work during Australia's first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic among frontline HCWs.
Participants (n=580) completed an online questionnaire regarding their willingness to work during the pandemic.
Forty-two percent of participants reported being less willing to work during the pandemic compared to before. Availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), concern expressed by family members, and viral exposure were significant barriers. One-third of participants disagreed that some level of occupational risk for exposure to infectious disease was acceptable. One-quarter of participants had received communications from their workplace concerning obligations to work during COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Australian frontline HCWs' willingness to work. Scarcity of PPE and exposure to the virus were the most cited reasons impacting on willingness to work. Appropriate policies and practices should be implemented and communicated efficiently to frontline HCW's. This research provides insight into the lived experiences of Australian healthcare professionals' willingness to work during a pandemic.