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The Modern Superheroes: Seeing COVID’s effects on healthcare workers


Not all superheroes wear capes – they wear masks, gowns, gloves, wear more personal protective equipment (PPE), frequently use hand sanitizers, and wash hands to keep the community safe.

The frontline defence against the invisible weapon, COVID-19, are our modern-day superheroes: the nurses, doctors, allied health, and other healthcare professionals who are putting their lives and their livelihoods on the line every day.

They are fighting a battle that has changed how we live.

Our lifestyles have changed so dramatically in such a short period of time. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the operational and logistics of the health system to change much faster than normal. While traditionally, many healthcare professionals have experience of working over long periods in effective teams to deliver complex services, crisis situations such as this COVID-19 pandemic saw healthcare professionals quickly become part of new teams and perform to a high standard in a short time in a changed workplace dynamic.

Therefore, it is imperative we identify the critical and teachable skills to work effectively and ascertain details on the key constructs that enabled things to go well and things that could be improved on for future, including ascertaining the personal factors that influenced healthcare professionals during this time.

A CQUniversity study (Approved through CQU Ethics, Approval Number: 22584) is looking beyond the emotional and psychological impact of COVID-19 on healthcare professionals and instead aims to focus on the psychosocial work environment.

Why? Because now more than ever it is important to protect our superheroes!

About the Authors of the “Modern Superheroes” Project

A driven Early Career Researcher at CQUniversity who lectures in Exercise and Sport Sciences, Dr Samantha Fien is passionate about her research in ageing and exercise as you are never too old to start. She knows that research must be translated to the greater community and is also a LASA NextGen Ambassador for aged care services.

Dr Ashlyn Sahay is a Senior Lecturer and Coordinator for Postgraduate Research in the School of Nursing Midwifery and Social Sciences. She is also the Coordinator of the Health Workforce Academy which focuses on building the research capability for higher degree research students engaged in health workforce.

For more information about this project, please contact the Project Investigators, Dr Ashlyn Sahay, email: a.sahay@cqu.edu.au or Dr Samantha Fien at CQUniversity s.fien@cqu.edu.au .


Note: Content has been edited for style and length.


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