Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the experiences related to mechanical ventilation (MV) and intensive care unit (ICU) environment of the patients who were on prolonged MV. Material and Methods: This was a prospective and qualitative research. Phenomenological method was used to collect and evaluate the data. The study was conducted with the patients who had been MV treatment for at least seven days in ICU between September 2004 and February 2005. The patients were interviewed with a semi-structured interview form and interviews were recorded on tape. The data were evaluated with Colaizzi's qualitative research analysis method. Results: Ten patients were interviewed in the research. The mean age of the patients was 49.9 +/- 18.47; 7 were male and 5 had graduated from high school. Mean duration was 10.8 +/- 6.4 days for MV, 44.2 +/- 50.6 for ICU and 49.9 +/- 38.9 days for hospitalization. MV in dications were respiration arrest or insufficiency related to medical or surgical reasons. Five categories and 14 themes were determined after the analysis of the interviews. Physical restriction, dependency, air hunger, thirst, pain, inability to talk and difficulty to be understood were described as uncomfortable and stressful experiences for the patients. Flexible family visits, positive thinking, praying, hope for survival, care by experienced and friendly ICU nurses were effective for coping with stressful factors related to prolonged MV and the ICU environment. Conclusion: Prolonged MV and ICU environment were uncomfortable and stressful experiences for the patients. Experienced ICU nurses have a key role in helping patients cope with this situation. Patient care should be based on a holistic approach and convenient coping methods should be supported. In conclusion, ensuring ICU nurses are aware of the results of such studies and including this subject in service training programs should be useful to increase the nurses' experiences.