INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is seen not only as a disease, but it is also defined by a series of metaphors: mysterious, evil, an invisible enemy, an insidious danger, and a democratic virus. This study was conducted to analyze the nurses perceptions of COVID-19 through metaphors.
METHODS: This qualitative research was planned as a descriptive phenomenological approach. Twenty-eight nurses working in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) participated in the study. The metaphor-based data collection process was carried out with five open-ended questions. The data were analyzed through a thematic analysis. The Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research Checklist was used to analyze this study.
RESULTS: Most military and fatigue related to the time nurses work in intensive care; Hero and nightmare of patient care with COVID-19; distance and restlessness in family relationships; their mental health darkroom and fatigue; COVID-19 as an insidious enemy and infinity. A total of 128 metaphors were produced.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Working during the COVID-19 epidemic, COVID-19 ICU nurses exhibit unfavorable approaches toward their jobs, family relationships, and mental health. Improving the working conditions of ICU nurses and considering their desires will help contribute to a favorable direction.