Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Environmental, Agricultural & Occupational Health

First Committee Member

Dr. Chandran Achutan, PhD, CIH

Second Committee Member

Dr. Lorena Baccaglini, PhD, DDS, MS

Third Committee Member

Mrs. Miriam McCann, BA, LATG


Job stress can lead to adverse physical and emotional health effects in employees and is worse during an emergency or pandemic. The complexity of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is taking a toll on the healthcare systems and their employees. This cross-sectional study looked at two different groups of academic medical center employees, Campus Safety Officers and Dental School employees, who’s work puts them at risk for COVID-19 exposure. We hypothesized that Campus Safety Officers and Dental School employees who felt adequately trained to conduct COVID-19 related work would not feel more stressed during the COVID-19 pandemic than they did before the pandemic. We provided a self-administered questionnaire to 148 employees between April and July 2020. Of the 148 questionnaires that were administered, 147 were included in our study, which showed elevated levels of stress during the COVID-19 pandemic (47.6%). Campus Safety Officers accounted for 42 (28.6%) and Dental School employees accounted for 105 (71.4%) of the total responses included in the study. Most study participants were younger than 40 years of age (75 [51.1%]), and 32 (21.8%) study participants were 60 and over. Males accounted for 77 (52.4%) responses. A total of 44 (29.9%) study participants had over 20 years of work experience. We found a significant association (p≤0.05) between employee perception of stress during the pandemic, perception of adequate training to conduct pandemic work (p=<0.0001), and gender (p=0.022). Although most study participants felt adequately trained to conduct work relating to COVID-19 (60.9%), they still felt more stressed during the COVID-19 pandemic than before the pandemic (47.6%). Mental health training should be provided to healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the impact of stress and adverse mental health effects. Special attention should be paid to ensure the well-being of female healthcare workers during COVID-19.

Included in

Public Health Commons