Palestinian nurses' lived experiences working in the occupied West Bank

A. A. Taha, C. Westlake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Since the construction of the separation wall between Israel and the West Bank, Palestinians living in occupied West Bank have endured intense conflict, and severe restrictions on people's movement, trade and healthcare access, all of which resulted in spiralling poverty. These issues have created challenges for nurses that, to date, have not been explored. Aim: To explore the lived experience of Palestinian nurses working in the occupied West Bank. Methods: Qualitative phenomenological study using interviews with Palestinian nurses working in public hospitals in the West Bank. Findings: Seventeen nurses were interviewed. Despite ongoing experiences of trauma and humiliation, personal/professional role conflicts, political workplace bias and blurred role boundaries, these nurses persevered because of their commitment to caring and sense of moral duty to ‘the people of this land’. Discussion: Nurses in conflict areas are subject to layers of trauma. Palestinian nurses in the West Bank not only experience ongoing personal trauma, loss and humiliation of living in a conflict zone but they also experience additional professional trauma. Conclusion: The findings provide first-person reports of the unique challenges of nurses working in the occupied West Bank. Implications for nursing practice: Understanding the experiences of nurses working in occupied territories provides authentic information for local authorities and the global healthcare community. Practice improvements must be addressed and implemented. Implications for health policy: Local and global organizations that mobilize support, invest in human capital, and protect human rights in areas of conflict may benefit from understanding the experiences of nurses in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-90
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Nursing Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Nurses' Experiences
  • Palestine
  • Phenomenology
  • Political Conflict
  • Trauma
  • West Bank
  • Work Challenges

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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