Florence Nightingale Journal of Nursing
Research Article

Experiences and Psychosocial Difficulties of Frontline Health Care Workers Struggling With COVID-19 in Turkey: A Qualitative Study


Department of Medical Services and Techniques, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University, Vocational School of Health Services, First and Emergency Program, Rize, Turkey


Department of Mental Health and Nursing, Karadeniz Technical University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Trabzon, Turkey


Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Rize Public Hospital, Rize, Turkey


Department of Anesthesia and Reanimation, Rize Provincial Health Directorate, Rize, Turkey

Florence Nightingale J Nurs 2022; 30: 74-82
DOI: 10.5152/fnjn.2022.21053
Read: 505 Downloads: 239 Published: 06 September 2021

AIM: This study was performed to explore the experiences and the psychosocial difficulties faced by nurses and physicians involved in the treatment and care for COVID-19 adult patients in the intensive care unit.

METHOD: The interpretative phenomenological approach was used, and the data were gathered between June and July, 2020 in Rize using face-to-face interviews. The sample consisted of 10 nurses and 5 physicians. The thematic analysis was utilized to analyze the data. The Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) were followed in the study.

RESULTS: The experiences of nurses and physicians were categorized under three themes and subcategories. The theme of “Going
Through Psychosocial Changes” was divided into decreased emotional well-being and experiencing social changes, the theme of “Work-Related Challenges” was divided into losing the routines and economic concerns, and the theme of “Felt Gains” was divided
into realizing one’s worth and increased motivation.

CONCLUSION: The study revealed that nurses and physicians are supported, respected, and described as heroes by Turkish society. However, they are psychologically and socially adversely affected, they display negative and positive emotions, and experience psychological growth. In addition, nurses complain about insufficient and unfair payment. Despite all these challenges, nurses and physicians continue to work with increasing emotional resistance. It is recommended to be aware of the problems that they experience during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, protect their mental health, provide adequate economic support, especially for nurses, and take necessary measures by collecting data that may be a guide for subsequent outbreaks.

Cite this article as: Şahin, C. U., Aydın, M., Usta, A., & Sakın, M. (2022). Experiences and psychosocial difficulties of frontline health care workers struggling with COVID-19 in Turkey: A qualitative study. Florence Nightingale Journal of Nursing, 30(1), 74-82.

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