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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.
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.