Article Type: Editorial
Title:  Challenges Met by Healthcare Professionals (Nurses) at the time of Covid-19 Pandemic

Year: 2021; Volume: 1; Issue: 2; Page No: 3 – 4

Author:   Sumathi Senthilvel

DOI: 10.55349/ijmsnr.20211234

Affiliation: Associate Editor, IJMSNR, Formerly Assistant Professor in Nursing, Department of Fundamental Nursing, Amrita College of Nursing. Ponekkara, Kochi, Kerala.  Email ID: 

Article Summary:
Submitted :  26-October-2021
Revised      :  10-November-2021
Accepted   :  02-December-2021
Published :  31-December-2021


The fast-growing Covid-19 pandemic has emerged as a major health crisis worldwide and poses more challenges for nurses and other health care professionals as well as nursing students.  This paper lists some of the major challenges faced by the health care workers (HCW) especially Nurses. They continue to experience unprecedented challenges in their day-to-day life.

Major Challenges faced by the nurses:

Increased risk of infection among nurses:  Many reports from across the world show that the healthcare workers were affected in large numbers by Covid-19 outbreak during the early period. [1] It was particularly nurses who took care of Covid-19 treatment units who were getting infected or dying due to Covid-19.  Most of the hospitals and isolation centres were overloaded with Covid cases which made nurses vulnerable to infection. But now this situation is changing in many healthcare facilities because of the increased awareness about Covid-19 protection protocols.

Lack of awareness of Covid-19 among Healthcare Workers: As this disease spread suddenly and at an unpredictable pace, the nurses and other healthcare workers were clueless about how this disease will go worst.  But now nurses are prepared to some extent for future Covid out breaks.  Now a days most of the hospitals are also prepared to face the outbreak of the disease with adequate ICU and emergency rooms.  Few countries like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore have already learnt lessons from SARS and H1N1 out breaks.  The health care workers in those countries, unlike the rest of the world, are already aware of these pandemic outbreaks. [2]

Shortage of experienced nurses in Covid-19 treatment centres:

In most of the hospitals the nurses,  patient  ratio  need  to be maintained properly as it highly affects the healthcare delivery system. Professional training which includes the aspects like the hazards of disease, its origins, modes of transmission, personal protection, prevention and control measures will extend the knowledge and skill of nurses and nursing students, who might be brought to face the pandemic to support their colleagues. Availability of sufficient trained nurses will make the treatment of patients and communicating with their relatives about patient care as hassle free experience. [3]

Shortage of personal protection equipment:

There was a shortage in the availability of PPE kits, face mask, gowns and respirators in most hospitals and health centers in India during the initial outbreak of the disease.  Locally manufactured face masks and other kits are reported to be of low quality which are not protective against infection. [3]

Long working hours:

Shortage of trained staff results in long working hours and sometimes double shift which take a toll on the efficiency of health care and on the personal health of the nurses. [3]

Inadequate quarantine facilities:

During the initial stages of this outbreak the nurses are quarantined for a period of 14 – 15 days after completing one rotation of duty.  But, later as the cases increased the rules of quarantine were altered and the duration was also reduced to 2 to 3 days which happened particularly in the Urban Centres of Delhi and Mumbai.  The protocols for testing the health care workers also were changed which lead to increased incidences of infection among nurses. [4]

Mental Violence:

Nurses are facing violence in their workplace in the form of threats, verbal abuse, hostility and the possible sources of violence include the patients, visitors and co-workers. [3, 5]

Lack of teamwork:

One of the highly sought-after tools in the field of human resource management is team work.  Lack of team work in Covid-19 management makes the scenario more difficult but working as a team sharing innovative ideas, skill and expertise will be highly useful in tackling this Covid-19 pandemic.

Importance of nursing administration:

The nursing service and administration is very important and essential in the COVID-19 care unit.  In Saudi Arabia, the MOH has collaborated with the private sector and planned sector wise nursing administration to strengthen it in all levels. [6]


Nurses are playing important role in the battle against COVID 19 pandemic but the face numerous challenges while working in COVID care units like risk of infection, longer working hours, lack of awareness and lack of protection kits.  Addressing these challenges immediately will drastically improve the efficiency of nursing care pertaining to COVID-19 pandemic. More training programs and researches are required to prepare the healthcare workers for tackling the health care issues that may emerge in future.


  1. Lai X, Wang M, Qin D, Tan L, Ran L, Chen D, et. al. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-2019) Infection Among Health Care Workers and Implications for Prevention Measures in a Tertiary Hospital in Wuhan, China.  JAMA Netw Open 2020;3(5):e209666. DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.9666.
  2. Tripathi R, Alqahtani SS, Albarraq AA, Meraya AM, Tripathi P, Banji D, et al. Awareness and preparedness of COVID-19 Outbreak Among Healthcare Workers and Other Residents of South-West Saudi Arabia: A Cross-Sectional Survey. Front Public Helath 2020;8:482. DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.00482.
  3. Challenges in Nursing: What Do Nursing Face on a Daily Basis.  Available on:  [Last Accessed on 18 July 2021]
  4. Nurses concerned of COVID-19 exposure, lack of quarantine quarters.  Available on: [Last Accessed on 19 July 2021]
  5. Chhugani M, James MM. Challenges faced by nurses in India-the major workforce of the healthcare system. Nursing & Care Open Access Journal 2017;2(4):112-114. DOI: 10.15406/ncoaj.2017.02.00045.
  6. Alluhidan M, Tashkandi N, Alblowi F, Omer T, Alghaith T, Alghodaier H, et al. Challenges and policy opportunities in nursing in Saudi Arabia. Human Resources for Health 2020;18:98. DOI: 10.1186/s12960-020-00535-2.

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