Perceptions of Australian emergency staff towards patients presenting with deliberate self-poisoning: A qualitative perspective

Rose Chapman, Catherine Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction/Background: Attitude of staff towards patients who present to the emergency department following deliberate self-poisoning may be integral to the outcome of these events. There is little in-depth understanding of emergency staff perceptions about this vulnerable group. Aim: Explore staff perceptions about caring for patients who present to the emergency department following deliberate self-poisoning. Design: Qualitative descriptive study. Methods: Two open-ended questions enabled 186 clinicians to describe their perceptions about caring for people who present to the emergency department following deliberate self-poisoning. Data were analysed using qualitative data analysis procedures. Results: Three themes emerged from the data representing staff perceptions about caring for patients who deliberately self-poisoned and included depends on the patient, treat everyone the same, and skilled and confident to manage these patients. Conclusion: Staff reported mixed reactions to patients presenting with deliberate self-poisoning. These included feelings of empathy or frustration, and many lacked the skills and confidence to effectively manage these patients. Relevance to practice: Health networks are required to ensure that emergency staff have specialist support, knowledge, skills, and guidelines to provide effective care for this vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-145
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Emergency Nursing
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Deliberate self-poisoning
  • Emergency Department
  • Health professionals
  • Qualitative approach

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