Conveying caring: Nurse attributes to avert violence in the ED

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Nursing Practice, 2009, 15 (3), pp. 205 - 212
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Violence towards nurses in Emergency Department's is a world wide problem that some contend is increasing in severity and frequency, despite the many strategies implemented to prevent violent events. This paper presents the findings of an instrumental case study in a busy rural Emergency Department. Twenty Registered Nurses participated in the study and data from 16 unstructured interviews, 13 semi-structured field interviews, and 290 h of participant observation were thematically analysed. In addition, 16 violent events were observed, recorded via a structured observation tool and analysed using frequency counts. Thematically there were five attributes rural emergency nurses were observed to use to avert, reduce and prevent violence. The five attributes were being safe, being available, being respectful, being supportive and being responsive. We argue that these attributes were embodied in the emergency nurses routine practice and their conceptualization of caring. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
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