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The Impacts of COVID-19 on Veterans Affairs Catheterization Laboratory Staff During the First Months of the US Response.

Gilmartin HM, Plomondon ME, Mueller C, Connelly B, Battaglia C, Waldo SW, Doll J. The Impacts of COVID-19 on Veterans Affairs Catheterization Laboratory Staff During the First Months of the US Response. The Journal of cardiovascular nursing. 2021 Nov 1; 36(6):595-598.

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BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has altered catheterization laboratory (cath lab) practices in diverse ways. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to understand the impact of COVID-19 on Veterans Affairs (VA) procedural volume and cath lab team experience. METHODS: Procedural volume and COVID-19 patient data were obtained from the Clinical, Assessment, Reporting and Tracking Program. A mixed methods survey was emailed to VA cath lab staff asking about the COVID-19 response. Descriptive and manifest content analyses were conducted. RESULTS: Procedural volume decreased from April to September 2020. One hundred four patients with known COVID-19 were treated. Survey response rate was 19% of staff (n = 170/902) from 83% of VA cath labs (n = 67/81). Reassignment to other units, confusion regarding COVID-19 testing, personal protective equipment use, and low patient volume were reported. Anxiety, burnout, and leadership''s role on team morale were described. CONCLUSIONS: Some teams adapted. Others expressed frustration over the lack of control over their practice. Leaders should routinely assess staff needs during the current and future crises.

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