Beyond the Call of Duty Across the Dunes: Lived Experiences of Nurses Caring for COVID-19 Patients


  • Vince Allen Lucena Union Christian College, City of San Fernando, La Union
  • Fatima A. Carsola Union Christian College, City of San Fernando, La Union


Caring, nurse, Saudi Arabia, COVID-19



Caring constitutes an intrinsic and foundational element of nursing practice principles (Adams, 2016). In the wake of the emergence of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), nurses found themselves at the forefront, courageously tending to patients afflicted by the virus. Amidst the relentless pandemic, their capacity for compassion and care proved pivotal. Their journey spanned an extended duration, testing the bounds of their professional capabilities and the authenticity of their caring demeanor. Despite the dearth of research encompassing the nuances of their caring attributes, this study was crafted to delve into the lived experiences of nurses caring for COVID-19 patients.



Rooted in Husserlian's phenomenology, the study explored these lived experiences, leveraging a meticulous process of systematic collection and analysis of narrative materials. The objective was to unravel the intricate tapestry of these experiences, fostering an understanding of their inherent significance. The researcher, assiduously delving into the narratives, abstained from imposing interpretations. Instead, the focus was dissecting participants' depictions and categorizing them into meaningful themes. Through this process, the essence of nurses' lived encounters was distilled, illuminating the phenomena within their consciousness.

Purposive sampling was enlisted, assembling a cohort of ten participants spanning the months of May to June 2022. Ethical considerations were paramount, prompting a comprehensive review and endorsement by the Ethics Review Board before data collection. Individual interviews persisted until data saturation was achieved, ensuring a comprehensive exploration of the subject matter. The data analysis adhered to Giorgi's Method of Interpretation, a systematic approach that facilitated the extraction of salient insights from the amassed narratives.



The study's outcomes unveiled five pivotal themes: "Escape from the Mirage," "Navigating the Burning Sand," "Running the Humming Dunes," "Encircled by the Blooming Cactus," and "Grasping the Oasis." These themes presented a profound comprehension of the nursing professionals' distinctive caring attributes when dealing with COVID-19 patients. Moreover, the study's recommendations underscored the imperative for comprehensive support interventions, encompassing facets such as fostering a positive work environment, acknowledging their unwavering dedication, disseminating clear communication protocols, and providing robust support mechanisms via supervisors and management. Such interventions were deemed crucial for bolstering morale within the nursing cadre.



Consequently, these findings are a potent springboard for evidence-based research endeavors to refine and amplify the nursing domain's caring attributes. The study served as the inception of their narrative, encapsulating their formidable struggles to attend to patients' needs, dispel uncertainties, and surmount their fears to persist in their duties steadfastly. These nursing professionals exhibited unparalleled tenacity, traversing metaphorical burning sands, and surmounting tempestuous trials that dotted their path. Their relentless commitment was underscored by an unrelenting drive to surmount discrimination, preconceived notions, and rejection.


Adversity served as a crucible within which their mettle was tested, spotlighting their ability to function optimally under duress, adapt to novel care modalities, and exhibit resourcefulness in their battle against an invisible adversary. Analogous to the resilient cactus, their endurance allowed them to perceive beyond the visible, consistently surpassing the call of duty. Furthermore, their narratives illuminated instances where they seized moments of respite amidst the inhospitable landscape of their workplaces. These instances were marked by a robust support system, honed skills, efficacious coping mechanisms, and a commitment to nurturing their own well-being – all of which collectively fortified their capacity to continue delivering compassionate care to their patients.


This study's implications transcend the immediate scope of nursing practice during the pandemic. Its insights can reshape healthcare strategies, elevate nursing, and foster a more resilient, empathetic, and adaptable healthcare workforce. Through its ripple effects, the study contributes to the broader goal of creating a more compassionate and effective healthcare ecosystem for all.



How to Cite

Lucena, V. A. ., & Carsola, F. A. (2023). Beyond the Call of Duty Across the Dunes: Lived Experiences of Nurses Caring for COVID-19 Patients. Ascendens Asia Singapore – Union Christian College Philippines Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Abstracts, 5(1), 64. Retrieved from