COVID-19
  • How Resilient Are CRNAs

    CRNAs reported the highest resilience of all the specialists studied.


    A cross-sectional study, conducted during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, sought to identify the workplace factors healthcare workers most identified with well-being and resilience and to compare these qualities across medical specialties.

    Well-powered and recent

    The study, published online in the American Journal of Nursing in July 2021, recruited 6,120 healthcare workers to participate across nine hospitals in the Atrium Health system in Charlotte, North Carolina. Data from 2,459 respondents were subsequently analyzed. The researchers deployed anonymous surveys to nurses (LPNs and RNs), advanced practice providers (NPs, physician assistants, and certified nurse midwives), certified registered nurse anesthetists, respiratory therapists, health care technicians, and therapy service professionals (physical, occupational, and speech therapists). The study was conducted during June and July 2020, roughly 3 months into the pandemic.

    CRNAs topped the list

    Results showed that certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) reported feeling slightly more resilient than other professionals. In fact, they were found to have the highest resilience of all the specialists studied.

    The resilience mean score for CRNAs was 32 (SD 5.7), while the overall mean across all specialties was 30.6 (SD 5.3). The lowest scores were among behavioral health workers (26.6), women’s health specialists (29.9), nurses (30.2), OT/PT/speech therapists (30.2), and rehabilitation/physical medicine workers (30.2). After CRNAs, the highest-scoring specialists were emergency medical workers (31.9), health care technicians (31.7), and respiratory therapists and advance practice providers (both 31.2).

    The measures of wellness

    The surveys examined three aspects of wellness: well-being, resilience, and psychological safety.  Well-being was measured with the Well-Being Index (WBI), a nine-item tool designed to assess the domains of fatigue, stress, anxiety, depression, burnout, quality of life, and work-life integration.

    Resilience was measured with the 10-item Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC 10). It consists of 10 statements with Likert-scale response options ranging from 0 (not true at all) to 4 (true nearly all the time).

    The researchers measured psychological safety with the Psychological Safety Scale (PSS). They also investigated 14 work environment factors including such aspects as organizational emotional support of health care workers; use of well-being and resilience resources; workload, and COVID-19-related communications.

    Towards post-pandemic change

    The researchers wrote that their findings suggest that “leaders can take crucial steps toward optimizing workers’ well-being by paying careful attention to workload and staffing, creating a culture of psychological safety within teams and units, and recognizing and actively addressing the unique challenges posed by the pandemic.”

    They further suggest that the insights resulting from the study might assist such leaders to hone in on these modifiable workplace factors in developing better organizational strategies to foster resilience and bolster well-being across the spectrum of medical professionals.

    Find the full survey and analysis, Munn LT, Liu TL, Swick M, et al. Well-being and resilience among health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study. Am J Nurs. 2021 Jul 7 at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34255750/