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  1. Brockopp, Dorothy PhD, MSN, RN, FAAN
  2. Monroe, Martha PhD, RN
  3. Davies, Claire C. PhD, PT
  4. Cawood, Meghan BSN, RN, CCRN-CMC
  5. Cantrell, Donita MSN, RN


Objective: The goal of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore in-depth, critical care nurses' (CCNs) lived experience while caring for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients during the pandemic.


Background: CCNs play an important role during pandemics characterized by highly contagious, life-threatening disease. Understanding the experience of CCNs during a pandemic is particularly important because of the high rate of burnout within this group, as well as a shortage of these caregivers across the globe.


Methods: Using Heidegger's interpretive phenomenological approach, interviews were conducted with 10 CCNs caring for COVID-19 patients. The goal of the interviews was to access a deep layer of understanding regarding participants' lived experience.


Results: Themes of role frustration, emotional and physical exhaustion, and the importance of presence were revealed.


Conclusion: Themes revealed suggest a number of actions hospital administrators could take to support CCNs as they experience the challenges of a pandemic.