Emergency nurses’ and department preparedness for an ebola outbreak: A (narrative) literature review

Mihirika SDS Pincha Baduge, Julia Morphet, Cheryle Moss

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The 2014 Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in West Africa triggered a public health emergency of international concern. Emergency departments worldwide responded with Ebola containment and preparation measures. This paper reports a literature inquiry into how emergency departments and emergency nurses prepared to manage the Ebola risk. Method: Narrative review was the method used. Guidelines (n = 5) for organisational and emergency department preparedness were retrieved from relevant websites. Searches for primary studies and case reports were undertaken in the MEDLINE and CINAHL databases. After screening and quality appraisal, 20 papers were included in the review. Results: Research and case reports identified 17 different preparedness strategies, and practical interventions for containment undertaken in emergency departments. These included a requirement for surveillance and reporting, Ebola case management, inventory and logistic management, laboratory management, and communication and education. Emergency nurses’ personal preparedness was influenced by the emotional readiness, their willingness to care for people at risk of Ebola, and the provision of psychological support. Conclusions: The preparation efforts reported internationally were generally consistent in strategy and intervention. The findings provide guidance for future preparedness strategies by emergency departments in response to threats like Ebola.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Emergency Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Ebola hemorrhagic fever
  • Emergency nursing
  • Hospital emergency service
  • Nurses’ emotional preparedness
  • Organisational preparedness
  • Review literature

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