INTRODUCTION: Lebanese frontline nurses were not only fighting off a pandemic for the past year but also facing escalating political, social, economic, and humanitarian turmoil that have accentuated the pressures exerted upon them. However, their needs for psychological support and coping mechanisms have been uncharted in light of the documented stress frontline nurses have been living for the past year. This paper aimed at exploring the perceptions of frontline ground zero nurses in Lebanon regarding their psychological needs and coping mechanisms during the most recent COVID-19 outbreak.
METHODS: This study was conducted in 2 main ground-zero hospitals in Beirut. This research paper has adopted a qualitative exploratory research design through employing the phenomenological approach, where online interviews were carried out among 15 frontline ground zero nurses in the 2nd week of January 2020.
RESULTS: The results of this study showed that the nurses perceived a need for significant psychological support led by their hospital, while they had to employ various coping mechanisms. The qualitative analysis of the verbatim conveyed by participating nurses have resulted in the emergence of five themes; Need for actual support, Need for formal psychological counseling, Praying and being spiritual, Avoiding the news, and Self-reminders.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that sufficient action has not been taken to enhance the mental health of these frontline nurses, where they shared their perspective of inadequate support mechanisms and the necessity for technical, systemic, and structured mental health support.