Florence Nightingale Journal of Nursing
Research Article

Health Problems and Reasons for Stress of Intensive Care Nurses During COVID-19


Department of Surgical Nursing, Mersin University, Faculty of Nursing, Mersin, Turkey


Department of Surgical Nursing, Necmettin Erbakan University, Faculty of Nursing, Konya, Turkey


Department of Urology, Mersin University Hospital, Mersin, Turkey


Department of Nursing, Çukurova University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Adana, Turkey


Department of Neurosurgery, İstanbul University-Cerrahpaşa, Cerrahpaşa Faculty of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey

Florence Nightingale J Nurs 2022; 30: 55-63
DOI: 10.5152/fnjn.2022.21002
Read: 529 Downloads: 259 Published: 01 February 2022

AIM: This study aimed to examine health problems and related reasons for stress including physiological, psychological, and patientcare-related stressors among intensive care unit (ICU) nurses during COVID-19 in Turkey.

METHOD: This study was designed as a cross-sectional study. Data were collected between June and July 2020 and from 1140 ICU
nurses who were actively working in the pandemic process from 65 provinces in Turkey. An online questionnaire was used consisting of questions regarding nurses’ health problems, reasons for psychological, physiological, and patient care-related stress during the pandemic. Descriptive data were presented in mean, median, or number and percentage.

RESULTS: Only 15.6% of ICU nurses experienced health problems. Nurses had psychological symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, and physiological symptoms such as respiratory, musculoskeletal symptoms. The majority of nurses experienced the following psychological stressors: fear of being a COVID-19 carrier and infecting loved ones, and getting sick with COVID-19. Reasons for physiological stress were mostly due to working with personal protective equipment (PPE), skipping toilet breaks, and inadequate hydration. Reasons for patient care-related stress included excessive sweating in PPE, fogging of goggles, and inability to select a venipuncture site with double gloves.

CONCLUSION: The findings of this study indicate that almost one-fifth of ICU nurses experience various health problems although most of them experience intense psychological, physiological, and patient care-related stress.

Cite this article as: Altun Uğraş, G., Yüksel, S., Kettaş Dölek, E., Erden, S., & Şirin, K. (2022). Health problems and reasons for stress of intensive care nurses during COVID-19. Florence Nightingale Journal of Nursing, 30(1), 55-63.

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