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  1. Elliott, Brenda PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF
  2. Burt, Sue DNP, RN, GERO-BC
  3. Lahr, Jessica MSN, RN, ACM


As we approach the third anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-term effects on the health and well-being of those caring for patients in their homes, where less control of the environment can be maintained, remain a concern. The purposes of this study were to describe home care providers' experiences caring for patients during the pandemic, barriers and facilitators to the provision of care, and lessons learned for practice during future healthcare crises. A qualitative descriptive study using semistructured interviews was conducted with 13 home care providers. Four themes emerged from the data: Riding an emotional roller coaster, Putting a fire out with a garden hose, Walking into a COVID petri dish, and I'm just trying to do my job. Support for frontline staff should be initiated early in a healthcare crisis or pandemic. Communication needs to be clear, consistent, and made available at regular intervals. Home care leaders need to be visible and transparent to reduce emotional uncertainties that can negatively influence staff and patient outcomes. Education and planning around emergency preparedness are essential in future crises to mitigate the negative consequences on staff and patients.