Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Wendy Kollross, DNP, MBA, RN

Wendy Kollross
  • Committee Chair Name & Credentials:
    Bonnie Pilon, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN
  • Committee Member Name & Credentials:
    Michelle Ardisson, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, and Ruth Kleinpell, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAANP, FCCM


DNP Project Abstract

COVID-19 ICU Readiness: Thematic Analysis of Rapid Cycle Survey Responses

The novel coronavirus of 2019 (COVID-19) resulted in a global pandemic of historic proportions. The purpose of this project was to analyze and evaluate how United States ICU clinicians described their readiness to care for COVID-19 patients during the early months of the pandemic. This was accomplished by analyzing responses to open-ended questions from two ICU Readiness rapid cycle surveys that were conducted by Society of Critical Care Medicine during March and April 2020.

The Society of Critical Care Medicine's two national surveys contained a total of eight open-ended questions. Survey respondents represented ICU clinicians, including nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, and others. The anonymous survey participants’ perceptions were detailed in free-text, descriptive responses. Inductive thematic analysis was used to identify both overall themes and themes by provider cohorts. Descriptive statistics were used to report findings.

Eight open ended-questions elicited responses from between 118 and 737 respondents, with an average of 274.9 (N=2,199) responses per question. The first survey primary theme identified Lack of personal protective equipment, masks, and supplies as the most critical need across providers (N=322, 36.9%). The second survey responses reported No Critical Needs (N=53, 21.8%) as the most prevalent theme across providers. Secondary responses included Lack of PPE, masks, and supplies (N=43, 17.7%), Lack of or inadequate cleaning supplies and housekeeping (N=11, 9.1%), and Lack of institutional support (N=15, 6.2%).

Implications for Practice
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on critical care clinicians. This analysis revealed crucial gaps in ICU readiness to care for this vulnerable patient population, including inadequate supplies and equipment, and lack of institutional support. These findings identify impacts on the ability of ICU clinicians to provide optimal life-saving care, and highlight inadequacies in clinician safety, supplies, and equipment during a crisis. It is essential that healthcare leaders safeguard and support ICU clinicians during the continuing pandemic.