A Qualitative Investigation into the Lived Experiences of Critical Care Nurses Working on Night Shifts


  • Halmat Authman Rasheed Department of Nursing, College of Nursing, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq.
  • Newroz Ghazi Aziz Department of Nursing, College of Nursing, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq.
  • Goran Aboobaker Osman Department of Nursing, College of Nursing, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq.




Nurses, Critical care unit, Qualitative research, Interview, Lived experience


Background and objectives: Shift work is used in the hospitals and residential treatment centres to provide patients with continuous health care. During their night shift, nurses are often faced with different health problems either due to the stressful work environment or because of the sophisticated instruments to be utilized in intensive care units. The present study was aimed at investigating the lived experience of nurses working on the night shifts at Rizgary Teaching Hospital located in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

Methods: A qualitative phenomenological study was conducted to describe the lived experiences of nurses working on night shifts. In doing so and in order to collect the required data, open-ended semi-structured in-depth interviews were carried out to explore thoughts, feelings, and lived experiences of 15 nurses who were working on the night shifts in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Rizgary Teaching Hospital in Erbil. The collected data were then analyzed by Van Manen’s (1990) method.

Results: Study participants were between 26 and 38 years old. The majority were male (60%) and 40% were female. Regarding marital status, 10 participants were married and 5 were single. Most of the nurses had Bachelor degrees (86.6%). The respondents work experience was between 3 and 8 years. Almost all of the participating nurses had similar lived experiences during their night shifts. The nurses' lived experiences gave way to the emergence of four themes namely workload, psychosocial issues, sleep disturbance and physiological issues.

Conclusion: The present study showed that nurses working on night shifts faced many problems and issues such as poor sleep quality sleep, working for a long time, fatigue and anxiety, back pain, mood disturbance and lack of concentration.


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How to Cite

Rasheed HA, Aziz NG, Osman GA. A Qualitative Investigation into the Lived Experiences of Critical Care Nurses Working on Night Shifts. Erbil j. nurs. midwifery [Internet]. 2021 Nov. 30 [cited 2022 Aug. 14];4(2):60-8. Available from: https://ejnm.hmu.edu.krd/index.php/ejnm/article/view/153



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