The emotional Impact of the February 2011 Christchurch Earthquake on the junior doctor workforce
Sheehan, Dale; Thwaites, J.; York, B.; Lee, J.
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Citation:Sheehan, D., Thwaites, J., York, B., & Lee, J. (2014). The Emotional Impact of the February 2011 Christchurch Earthquake on the Junior Doctor workforce. Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies : 57-64. Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies, 18(2), pp.57-64.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4047
On the 22nd of February 2011, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand. The events of February 2011, the preceding and the thousands of aftershocks have had a devastating effect on those living in the region including the junior doctor workforce. The purpose of this study was to document and describe new graduate doctors personal and professional experience of the Christchurch earthquakes. As phenomenological research, this paper seeks to describe the lived experience of the junior doctor workforce who experienced the event. This article focuses on the analysis of qualitative data generated as part of a larger mixed method study designed to capture the experience of this defined cohort of front line junior staff. A phenomenological approach was used to analyse qualitative data from survey and in-depth interviews to allow the experiences of participants to be described. Qualitative data from the survey and thematic analysis of the narratives suggest that few were emotionally prepared for the events of February. Seven themes were identified and from these we have prepared a composite narrative to demonstrate themes in the language of those interviewed. The individual experience of the earthquakes had a significant impact on individuals, their emotional well-being, living circumstances, work, and learning and for some, their career direction. This study provides an insight into the experiences and reminds us of the personal impact of disaster on a workforce. We hope it can contribute to and maybe generate interest within the health research community, in further exploring these kinds of experiences.