INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIAL PSYCHIATRY, vol.67, no.2, pp.158-167, 2021 (SSCI)
Background: Nurses, who are playing an important role during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, are exposed to a range of psychosocial stressors due to unforeseen risks. Objectives: The objective of this study is to determine the experiences and psychosocial problems of nurses caring for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Turkey. Settings: The data were collected between 9 May and 12 May 2020, in Istanbul, Turkey. Participants: The study sample consisted of 10 nurses, who cared for patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Methods: The research employed the descriptive phenomenological approach. The interviews were conducted face-to-face via the internet and were analysed with Colaizzi's seven-step method. Results: The experiences and psychosocial problems among nurses caring for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were categorised under three themes, which were further divided into subcategories. The theme of the effects of the outbreak was divided into working conditions, psychological effects and social effects; the theme of short-term coping strategies was divided into normalisation, refusal to dwell on experiences, avoidance, expression of emotions and distraction; and the theme of necessities was divided into psychosocial support and resource management. Conclusion: The nurses caring for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Turkey were adversely affected, both psychologically and socially, by the pandemic; they used short-term coping strategies, and they needed psychosocial support and resource management. They also faced stigmatising attitudes and experiencing burnout and were at risk for secondary traumas due to witnessing disease and death.