A Phenomenological Study on the Nurses' Perception of Facemask Use in the New Normal


  • Mary Joy R. Rivera
  • Fatima A. Carsola, PhD


COVID-19, nurses, facemask use, existential phenomenology, ethical considerations, Nola Pender’s Health Promotion Model, Thomas and Pollio’s method, pandemic, healthcare, public health


The COVID-19 pandemic, a global health crisis of unprecedented proportions, has reshaped our understanding of healthcare and the role of frontline workers. Nurses have emerged as the unsung heroes throughout this crisis, embodying compassion, dedication, and unwavering commitment to providing quality care to those affected by the virus. This study investigates nurses' perceptions of facemask usage in the “new normal” and its implications for public health, emphasizing the ethical considerations that underpin the research. Employing existential phenomenology as the research approach, this study explores the experiences and perspectives of nurses who have played an integral role in responding to the pandemic. Nola Pender’s Health Promotion Model guides the research, and the data is analyzed thematically using Thomas and Pollio’s method, resulting in four overarching themes. Ultimately, the study highlights the significance of recognizing and appreciating nurses' perspectives, who remain on the frontline of the ongoing battle against COVID-19.

The methodology employed in this study ensures the research's ethical integrity and a deep exploration of nurses' nurses' perceptions regarding face mask use. Before conducting the research, the study underwent a meticulous examination by the Ethics Review Board (ERB), thereby adhering to ethical considerations in research. The researcher’s viewpoints were bracketed to ensure impartiality and objectivity during data collection and analysis.

Existential phenomenology was chosen as the research approach to delve into the lived experiences of nurses during the pandemic. Thirteen participants were purposively selected for their diverse backgrounds and roles within the healthcare system. The participants openly expressed their thoughts and experiences through unstructured interviews between March 1 and April 5, 2023, ensuring a broad and deep understanding of their perspectives.

Nola Pender’s Health Promotion Model was used to frame the analysis, providing a holistic lens through which to examine the data. The subsequent data was thematically analyzed using Thomas and Pollio’s method, allowing for the identification of recurring patterns and themes in the nurses' narratives.

The thematic analysis of the data revealed four overarching themes:

1) “The Invisible” (Nurses' Belief in Facemask Use): Nurses demonstrated a strong belief in the necessity of facemask usage due to the ongoing threat posed by COVID-19 and other airborne diseases. They perceived facemasks as crucial in safeguarding public health and were committed to their continued use.

2) “The Blindfold” (Attitudes of Nurses on Facemask Use): Nurses displayed a positive attitude towards facemask use and saw it as a responsible action to protect themselves and their patients. They recognized the significance of setting an example for the community.

3) “The Voice” (Nurses' Shared Best Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic): Nurses shared valuable insights and best practices that emerged during the pandemic. They emphasized the importance of clear communication and patient education regarding facemask use to foster compliance.

4) “The Spectrum” (Nurses' Realization of Facemask Use): Nurses realized that the “mask-free” society once envisioned remained a distant aspiration due to the persistent threat of COVID-19 and other airborne diseases. They expressed a yearning for the safety of vulnerable populations.

This research underscores the vital role of nurses in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and their unwavering commitment to public health. The findings provide compelling evidence that nurses perceive facemasks as indispensable and prioritize the safety of vulnerable populations. As such, this study strongly advocates for the continued use of face masks as a responsible measure to mitigate the ongoing threat posed by COVID-19 and other airborne diseases. Recognizing and valuing the perspectives of nurses, who stand at the forefront of our battle with the pandemic, is crucial in shaping public health policies and practices for the foreseeable future. This research is a testament to the enduring impact of the pandemic on the healthcare system and serves as a lifetime lesson to humankind.



How to Cite

Rivera, M. J. R. ., & Carsola, F. A. . (2024). A Phenomenological Study on the Nurses’ Perception of Facemask Use in the New Normal. Ascendens Asia Singapore – Union Christian College Philippines Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Abstracts, 6(1), 44. Retrieved from https://ojs.aaresearchindex.com/index.php/aasguccphjmra/article/view/13740

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