Introduction: Health care providers in different countries have different experiences during the onset of an epidemic based on the available resources of nursing, health care system and cultural background. The aim of the present study was to explain the experiences of health care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic period.
Methods: In this qualitative study, 36 medical staff of East Guilan in North of Iran were included in the study by purposive sampling method based on inclusion criteria. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data using interview guide questions and the interviews continued until data saturation. Data analysis was carried out based on the conventional content analysis approach and simultaneously with data collection.
Results: Data analysis led to the extraction of three main categories and 10 subcategories: peaceful coexistence (knowledge professional development, increased emotional closeness, resilience under critical situations) / outburst of despair (burnout in the workplace, annoying obsessions, at the border of decision duality, in the bottleneck of fear) / in the darkness of grief (in shadow of depression, disappointment with the way people relate to the treatment staff and in financial strait).
Conclusion: Results of exploring the participants' experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic period was explained based on the three main themes of peaceful coexistence, outburst of despair and in the darkness of grief. Paying attention to the physical, psychological, social, emotional and financial challenges and needs of healthcare workers, especially during the pandemic, is an undeniable necessity and requires the full attention and support of relevant officials and society.