An ethnography: Understanding emergency nursing practice belief systems

Publisher:
Elsevier
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
International Emergency Nursing, 2012, 20 (3), pp. 120 - 125
Issue Date:
2012-01
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Background: Further insight is needed to better understand how beliefs impact on contemporary Australian Emergency Department (ED) triage nursing practice. Specifically, how do cultural notions drive beliefs that give shape to nursing practice? Methods: Ethnography was the methodological framework used to explore triage practice. A purposeful sample of 10 Triage Nurses across four EDs was selected. Two hundred hours of nonparticipant observation were collected. Results: Beliefs were identified that gave meaning to triage nursing behaviour and action. Belief 1: Respecting space and privacy; Belief 2: Taking control and responsibility; Belief 3: Patients should not arrive with expectations; Belief 4: Do not ask for a bed; Belief 5: Expect a level playing field; Belief 6: No benefit from having a referral letter; Belief 7: Do not waste time. When a belief was engaged Triage Nurses implemented a range of practices, which were culturally oriented and at times at odds with patient expectations and care.
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