Posted: 2021-11-06 19:00:00
Purpose: To explore the experiences of nurses working in emergency departments in selecting and triaging patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design: Descriptive phenomenology was applied in this study. Methods: Data were collected from nurses working at hospitals in Indonesia using snowball sampling and telephone interviews. A total of 10 emergency nurses participated, and Colaizzi's method of data analysis was applied. Findings: Six themes and 10 subthemes emerged. The main themes were "extreme challenges in triage," "feeling of responsibility under uncontrolled spread and infection," "physical and psychological exhaustion," "discovering strategies under difficult circumstances," "looking for positive reinforcement," and "optimism in togetherness." Nurses had to deal with the challenge of COVID-19 in the ED triage, interestingly so, the nurses they have shown the development of professional responsibility. Nurses are also experienced in finding patient selection and triage strategies and the sense of optimism that may influence strategy and practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusions: This findings identify nurses' experiences in dealing with the extreme challenges of emergency department triage as well as their associated strategies and optimism. Clinical relevance: Providing support to emergency nurses, improving emergency department triage, and community empowerment are suggested as strategies to improve nursing care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Keywords: emergency nursing; nurses’ experiences; pandemic COVID-19; triage.
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