BACKGROUND: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, health care systems worldwide are working under challenging conditions . Patients, who are seriously ill, require intensive care admission . In fighting COVID-19, nurses are frontline health care workers and, as such, have a great responsibility providing needed specialized patient care in intensive care units (ICU). However, working conditions and emotional factors have an impact on the quality of the care provided .
AIM: The purpose of the present study was to explore and describe the experiences and perceptions of nurses working in an ICU during the COVID-19 global pandemic . STUDY
DESIGN: Qualitative research was undertaken, using an empirical approach and inductive content analysis techniques .
METHODS: The selected population consisted of ICU nurses from a tertiary teaching hospital in Spain. Data were obtained via semi-structured videocall interviews from Apr 12th to Apr 30th , 2020 . Subsequently, transcribed verbatims were analysed using the template analysis model of Brooks . FINDINGS: A total of 17 nurses comprised the final sample after data saturation . Four main themes emerged from the analysis and 13 subthemes:``providing nursing care ,"`` psychosocial aspects and emotional lability ,"`` resources management and safety"and``professional relationships and fellowship ."
CONCLUSION: Providing health care by intensive care nursing professionals, during the COVID-19 pandemic, has shown both strong and weak points in the health care system . Nursing care has been influenced by fear and isolation, making it hard to maintain the humanization of the health care . RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Implications for practice include optimizing resource management (human and material), providing psychological support, and adequate training for ICU nurses, as well as high-quality protocols for future emergency situations.