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Collins, S., Conway, Y., Ni Chianain, L.
The 37th RCSI Annual International Nursing & Midwifery Research and Education Conference 2018.
An explorative study examining the transition experiences of staff working in an Emergency Department that was re-configured to a minor injury unit in the Midwest of Ireland.
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Introduction: In the context of providing quality safe care, the Irish Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) (2009) recommended a reconfiguration of smaller hospitals which resulted in some emergency departments being downsized to minor injury units. Aims & Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the transition experiences of frontline staff in an Irish Emergency department which was reconfigured to a minor injury unit. Methods: A qualitative descriptive design was employed and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 8 nurses and 2 doctors. Braun and Clarke’s (2006) thematic analysis framework was used for data analysis. Outcomes: The findings of this study reveal that frontline staff experience a mixture of positive and negative feelings when a change occurs in their role and place of work. There was a negative emotional impact on staff initially with concerns for their future roles being a prominent finding. Support structures, particularly from management were identified as lacking during the reconfiguration period however team support was positive. Although staff experienced a significant loss they were proud of their new service and had acquired new skills which increased their job satisfaction. Conclusion: This study found that after a period of time staff adjusted to their new roles and saw the benefits the reconfiguration gave to staff and patients. They expressed feeling greater confidence in their knowledge and skills, enhanced levels of job satisfaction and ultimately less occupational stress. Negative impacts can be negated where there is good communication from senior and middle management and provision of information to both staff and public.
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