Pride and Uncertainty: A Qualitative Study of Danish Nursing Staff in Temporary COVID-19 Wards

Kristoffer Marsaa, Janni Mendahl, Henriette Heilman, Hélène Johansson, Mette Husum, Dorthe Lippert, Niels Sandholm, Hanne Konradsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


There is limited knowledge about the psychosocial stress among the nursing staff working on the COVID-19 wards. This article reports on the experiences of frontline health care workers as it was described to supervisors counseling the nursing staff engaged in the response to the outbreak of COVID-19. Frontline health care workers, nurses, and nurses' aides experienced major work changes. Some were transferred to the newly formed COVID-19 wards in a large Danish hospital, were given new tasks, and had to collaborate with new colleagues, while treating a new deadly and contagious disease. This study aimed to describe the reflections and experiences of the nursing staff attending supervision sessions. The palliative unit offered supervision from April 2020. A total of 9 supervision sessions were held as part of this study, and 57 nursing staff members participated in the sessions. The supervision was available to employees until the first COVID wave subsided in June 2020. During each session, supervisors took field notes and wrote field memos. The topics raised by the nursing staff during the supervision sessions ranged between pride and uncertainty. Nursing staff in COVID-19 wards were at risk of feeling an increasing burden, and there was a need for ongoing managerial attention as well as continuous visible presence and support.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of hospice and palliative nursing : JHPN : the official journal of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)140-144
Publication statusPublished - 1. Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Denmark/epidemiology
  • Emotions
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital/psychology
  • Qualitative Research
  • Uncertainty


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