Effects of adverse events in health care on acute care nurses in an Australian context: A qualitative study

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Journal Article
Nursing and Health Sciences, 2018, 20 (2), pp. 238 - 246
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© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd Adverse events in health care significantly impact health professionals who become the second victims of medical error. The aim of the present study was to understand the effects of adverse events in health care on nurses in acute health-care settings in an Australian context. In this qualitative, descriptive study, we used purposeful sampling and recruited 10 acute care nurses. Interviews were conducted from 2011 to 2012 and were recorded, transcribed, and returned to participants to verify their accuracy. Data were categorized and analyzed to determine four emergent themes and subthemes. The four themes were: rescuing patients, effects on nurses, professional responsibility, and needs of nurses. Our analysis indicated that nurses need organizational responses to adverse events, including the provision of information and collegial support after adverse events occur. This will minimize the psychological trauma associated with these events for second victims and support effective communication and collegial working relationships.
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