Koh Y, Hegney D, Drury V. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2012; 18: 195–204
Nurses' perceptions of risk from emerging respiratory infectious diseases: A Singapore study
The recent emergence of virulent respiratory infectious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Influenza A/H1N1 viruses predisposes nurses to occupational risks. This qualitative study investigated how Chinese Singaporean nurses perceived the risks of exposure to these infectious diseases and the factors that influenced this risk perception.
Data were collected through face-to-face interviews and were analyzed using Braun and Clarke's process of thematic analysis. Three themes emerged: living with risk; the experience of SARS; and acceptance of risk. The nature of nursing work was perceived to place participants at risk of infection. Another significant finding of this study is that the government's, organizations' and nurses' perceptions of new emerging respiratory infectious diseases were influenced by their previous experience with SARS. Similar to previous studies, nurses working at the ‘front line’ believed that infection from these diseases was an unavoidable occupational hazard.