Background: Nursing care activities in the context of infectious epidemics, such as COVID-19, can lead to high levels of stress in nurses.
Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the occupational stress and adequacy of hospital support measures among nurses with the experience of caring for patients with infectious and non-infectious diseases during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Methods: This descriptive-analytical and cross-sectional study was conducted on nurses caring for patients with COVID-19 in Imam Reza Hospital Complex in Mashhad, Iran. The sample size was determined at 194 nurses who were selected through random sampling. The data were collected using a standard questionnaire and analyzed through a structural equation modeling approach using Smart PLS software (version 2.0). Moreover, descriptive and inferential statistics were employed for data analysis.
Results: The results of the correlation analysis showed a negative and significant relationship between occupational stress and adequacy of hospital support measures (P<0.001). Furthermore, the mean occupational stress scores of the nurses with the experience of working in infectious and non-infectious diseases wards were 63.96 and 65.34, respectively. Additionally, there was no difference between the mean values of occupational stress of nurses with the experience of working in non-infectious and infectious diseases wards. Moreover, the effects of the control variables of the work shift (morning, evening, or night) and work experience (years) were not significant in this study.
Conclusion: The COVID-19 epidemic caused many nurses to work in new and sometimes stressful environments and conditions. Proper work shifts, improvement of interpersonal communication, and provision of ongoing supportive measures can be effective in reducing occupational stress.