The goal of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore in-depth, critical care nurses' (CCNs) lived experience while caring for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients during the pandemic.
CCNs play an important role during pandemics characterized by highly contagious, life-threatening disease. Understanding the experience of CCNs during a pandemic is particularly important because of the high rate of burnout within this group, as well as a shortage of these caregivers across the globe.
Using Heidegger's interpretive phenomenological approach, interviews were conducted with 10 CCNs caring for COVID-19 patients. The goal of the interviews was to access a deep layer of understanding regarding participants' lived experience.
Themes of role frustration, emotional and physical exhaustion, and the importance of presence were revealed.
Themes revealed suggest a number of actions hospital administrators could take to support CCNs as they experience the challenges of a pandemic.