Original Research

Lived experiences of radiology caregivers during a health crisis: A COVID-19 case analysis

Shillah N. Hundah, Maureen N. Sibiya, Thandokuhle E. Khoza
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 29 | a2532 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v29i0.2532 | © 2024 Shillah N. Hundah, Maureen N. Sibiya, Thandokuhle E. Khoza | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 October 2023 | Published: 08 July 2024

About the author(s)

Shillah N. Hundah, Department of Radiography, Faculty of Health Sciences, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
Maureen N. Sibiya, Division of Research, Innovation and Engagement, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Umlazi Campus, Durban, South Africa
Thandokuhle E. Khoza, Department of Radiography, Faculty of Health Sciences, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Health crises have been linked with the exacerbation of pre-existing difficulties and the emergence of unique challenges, as evidenced by the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on health caregivers worldwide. Baseline data allow for reflection and preparation for any future health emergencies therefore giving impetus to phenomenological enquiries among the experiencers.

Aim: This study aimed to explore the lived experiences of the eThekwini district frontline radiology caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Setting: The study was conducted in public and private radiology departments in the eThekwini district of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Methods: A qualitative, interpretative phenomenological analysis methodology was adopted in a multi-method data-collection context comprising semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs) among 24 radiologists, radiographers, and radiology nurses obtained by non-probability sampling. Data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using an interpretative phenomenological approach.

Results: Three superordinate themes emerged, namely: (1) duties and roles during the COVID-19 pandemic, (2) work-related challenges, (3) personal challenges.

Conclusion: Frontline radiology caregivers experienced increased workload, staff shortages, salary cuts, personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages, non-recognition, poor managerial support, disrupted social relations, and poor work–life balance. This necessitates the need for the radiology departments to address staffing, infection prevention and control deficits, and invest in support interventions to assist frontline radiology caregivers during health crises.

Contribution: The findings comprise baseline information that can be used for reflection and guiding radiology departments in preparing for any future health crises.

 


Keywords

health crisis; COVID-19; frontline radiology caregivers; radiographers; radiologists; experiences; challenges; eThekwini

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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