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Conway, Y
Virginia Henderson International Library Collection -http://hdl.handle.net/10755/151247
Negative Labelling of Patients in an Irish Emergency Department
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Patient labelling Emergency Departments
October, 2011
            [Research Presentation] The overall purpose of this quantitative study was to explore Irish Emergency Nurses attitudes towards patients who present to Accident & Emergency (A&E) Departments with primary care type needs. One of the key research questions to stem from this aim was whether A&E nurses label these patients as being "inappropriate attenders" as much of the international literature suggests.áLimited empirical research has been conducted which examines A&E nurses perceptions of this population of patients.áA descriptive survey approach was used and data collected using a self-developed structured questionnaire. A non-probability convenience sample of 52 qualified A&E nurses was obtained from a 600 bed large urban Regional teaching hospital in the Republic of Ireland. A pilot study was conducted in the A&E department of a second regional teaching hospital. Permission was obtained from the directors of nursing of both hospitals.áThe data within the questionnaires were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistical measures. Spearman's rho was utilized to investigate the relationships between the responses to the Likert Scale statements and a high number of correlations were found.áSome of these are statistically significant at the smaller p values of <.01 and even <.001 which suggests that the items are highly reliable and have low-error components.áThe findings of the study suggest that A&E nurses appear to label patients based on the "suitability" of the presenting condition from a medical perspective. Analysis revealed 77% of the respondents felt that many patients presenting to A&E were "inappropriateö with 66% agreeing that they should be referred back to their primary care physician and not offered treatment in A&E.á It is clear that negative attitudes amongst A&E staff towards this category of patients must be challenged with education and training and clarity sought on the primary care role of Emergency Departments within the Irish health service.
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