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    Early experiences of radiographers in Ireland during the COVID-19 crisis
    BACKGROUND:Imaging is crucial for assessing the severity and progression of COVID-19. Radiographers are amongst the first-line health professionals that may be exposed to infected persons. This work describes the early experience of radiographers in Ireland to the impact of COVID-19 using two electronic surveys distributed 6 weeks apart. Results were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. RESULTS:A total of 370 responded to the first survey and 276 the second, with all six Irish health regions represented. Three quarters of radiographers (77%) reported having adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) available to them. However, almost half of the radiographers were inadvertently exposed to COVID-19-positive patients without appropriate PPE, largely attributed to poor communication and testing. Anxiety levels while initially high, reduced substantially 6 weeks into the crisis period. However, obvious distress was noted amongst some respondents. Forty percent of radiographers reported burnout symptoms due to the COVID-19 crisis and 30% reported considering changing jobs or retiring since the COVID-19 outbreak. CONCLUSION:Clear communication regarding changing protocols and importantly patients' infectious status are essential to safeguard healthcare workers and to minimise unnecessary anxiety and distress. Attention is required to staff mental health including the identification of burnout symptoms to prevent long-term negative consequences of the pandemic on radiography services.
      177ScopusĀ© Citations 29