At the beginning of the pandemic, Dr. Robinson realized that this was a different pandemic from those in the past. She was concerned about the mental and emotional impacts on nurses from caring for these patients. Best practice information on care was lacking and/or changing daily and she felt it was important to understand nurses’ experiences in order to cultivate a healthier and safer work environment for all. It is hoped that the information gained will help all nurses in creating and sustaining a positive work environment.
The study is published in the Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing (DCCN) Journal and can be downloaded/purchased here.
The Lived Experience of Nurses Working During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Previous research on nurses during pandemics has focused on nurses working in one facility or type of unit; this study focuses on nurses caring for COVID-19 patients in a variety of units in different sites across the United States.
The aim of this study was to understand the experiences of registered nurses working with hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
This study used a hermeneutic phenomenology design. Semistructured interviews via telephone were conducted and then transcribed verbatim. Colaizzi’s method of analysis was used. Data saturation was achieved with 14 participants.
Three major themes were evident. They were “the human connection,” “the nursing burden,” and “coping.” Subthemes were identified under each major theme.
This study depicted nurses who are caring, empathetic, and resilient. They had many recommendations for fellow nurses, the public, and health care organizations.