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Abstract

The purpose of this Qualitative Descriptive study was to describe the experience of hospitalized adults during the pandemic who did not have COVID-19. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 English-speaking adults who were hospitalized on a medical or surgical floor after April 1, 2020 and were negative for COVID-19 throughout their entire hospital stay. The interview questions focused on the overall hospital experience, the nurse’s role in their experience, comfort needs, and the experience of having comfort needs met during the hospitalization. Conventional content analysis of the transcribed transcripts revealed five main themes related to the hospital experience: I don’t expect the hospital to be comfortable; I was always tense; Wanting human connection; Communication is important; and Nurses are busy. An unpleasant environment, longing for comfort from family and nurses, a perception that the nurses were too busy, feelings of being isolated from others and the world, and experiencing fear and anxiety were all elements of the hospital experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings identified a need for targeted practice, research, and education to improve patient comfort in the physical, psycho-spiritual, sociocultural, and environmental contexts. This is important as we look toward improving the overall patient experience during hospitalization.

Experience Framework

This article is associated with the Patient, Family & Community Engagement lens of The Beryl Institute Experience Framework (https://www.theberylinstitute.org/ExperienceFramework).

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