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J Emerg Nurs. 2016 May;42(3):240-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jen.2015.12.003. Epub 2016 Feb 10.

Emergency Nurses' Perspectives: Factors Affecting Caring.

Author information

1
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Electronic address: carol.enns@umanitoba.ca.
2
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Abstract

Caring is a universal phenomenon. However, as a result of higher patient acuity and staff shortages within the chaotic ED environment, caring behaviors may be in peril. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into the meaning of caring from the perspective of emergency nurses. Exploring nurses' perspectives of caring is central to improving staffing and retention issues in this unique work environment.

METHODS:

As part of a larger study, a subsample of emergency nurses who work in public hospitals in Manitoba, Canada (n = 17) were interviewed. A qualitative descriptive design was used to gain insight into the caring perspectives of nurses by asking them, "What does caring meaning to you?" and "What affects caring in your practice in the emergency department?" Emerging themes were extracted through analysis of audio tapes and transcripts.

RESULTS:

Advocacy and holistic care emerged as major themes in the meaning of caring for emergency nurses. Caring was affected by a number of factors, including workload, lack of time, staffing issues, shift work, and lack of self-care. However, lack of management support was the most consistent hindrance to caring identified by study participants.

DISCUSSION:

Caring continues to be a unifying concept in nursing; however, influencing factors continue to undermine caring for emergency nurses. Caring is not subsidiary to nursing; it is the central core of nursing. Therefore, fostering a caring working environment is essential for nurses to practice holistic nursing care. It is also imperative to job satisfaction and the retention of emergency nurses.

KEYWORDS:

Caring; Emergency nurses; Work environment

PMID:
26874540
DOI:
10.1016/j.jen.2015.12.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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