Original Article

From nuisance to helpful assistants: A qualitative thematic analysis of medical volunteers' experiences during the COVID-19 outbreak in Iran


Background & Aim: Volunteers’ perceptions may affect their future decisions to participate in crisis intervention.  Few studies in Iran have been conducted to examine the experiences of medical personnel who volunteered during the COVID-19 pandemic. This qualitative study describes the experiences of medical volunteers during COVID-19 in Iran.
Methods & Materials:  A total of 17 healthcare volunteers who worked in COVID-19 hospital wards were recruited using purposive sampling. All participants were recruited in the current study from the hospitals affiliated with the Tehran University of Medical Sciences if they expressed their willingness to participate and had at least two months experience of working as healthcare volunteers in COVID-19 wads. In-depth video-call semi-structured interviews were conducted from August to November 2020. The data were analyzed using the qualitative thematic analysis method.
Results: One main theme “from nuisance to helpful assistants” and four sub-themes including the “feeling of inefficiency”, “negligent managing”, “situation orientation”, and “transformation for integrity” emerged from the data.
Conclusion: Despite experiencing challenges, the volunteers and hospital staff tried to change their approaches to joint collaboration by improving their capabilities for situation awareness and creating integrity. These findings provide policymakers with a better understanding of health volunteers' challenges in hospitals during crises.

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IssueVol 10 No 1 (2023): Winter QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/npt.v10i1.12258
COVID-19; hospital volunteers, perception, Iran, qualitative research

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How to Cite
Sadeghian MH, Khoshnavay Fomani F, Moshtagh M, Elahi E, Rostamian A, Ostadtaghizadeh A. From nuisance to helpful assistants: A qualitative thematic analysis of medical volunteers’ experiences during the COVID-19 outbreak in Iran. NPT. 2023;10(1):62-70.