Heydarikhayat N, Ghanbarzehi N, Shahkaramzehi Z, Sabagh K, Rohani C
J Res Nurs 27 (4) 313-327 [2022-06-00; online 2022-07-08]
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a novel Coronavirus which transmits from person to person throughout the world. This study aimed to explore the lived experiences of nurses' caring for patients with COVID-2019 in the context of the healthcare system of Iran. This is a phenomenological study with 13 participant nurses (6 men and 7 women) who were caring for COVID-19 patients in one of the university hospitals in Southeast of Iran. Qualitative data were analysed by the seven steps of Colaizzi's method. Participants reported around a five-month history of caring for COVID-19 patients. After analysis, 597 codes, 16 categories, four sub-themes, and one theme were extracted. "Caring from self-sacrifice to avoidance" was the main theme of the study with sub-themes of "Anxiety Chain", "Manifestation of Humanitarian Caring", "Ethical Challenges", and "Challenges of Overcoming Crisis". Nurses explained their caring experiences with patients on a continuum from humanitarian caring and self-sacrifice to caring avoidance. Because of the multi-sources of psychological stress and ethical challenges together with this infection, healthcare managers should plan for holistic regular psychological support services, prevention of job inequalities, and do strategic planning for access to enough resources in the healthcare system.