Nurses’ attitudes toward family witnessed resuscitation in Western Australian emergency departments
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Since 1982, healthcare institutions and professionals have been questioning whether family members should be allowed to enter resuscitation rooms during such critical period of treatment. A self-administered questionnaire is used in this research to investigate Western Australian emergency nurses’ attitudes towards family witnessed resuscitation and to explore possible factors influencing their attitudes.The findings of this work suggest that nurses, assuming a betwixt-between position, evaluate the costs and benefits of allowing family presence in the resuscitation room from patients, families and healthcare professionals’ perspectives. Nurses have an overwhelming agreement on the beneficial aspects of the practice, while also share concerns commonly reported in previous studies with an emphasis on a family member’s capability to cope with and comprehend the resuscitation procedures and a healthcare professional’s ability to handling pressure.Overall, the research suggests nurses are ambivalent in their attitude. Despite the nurses’ awareness of some family members’ desire to witness resuscitation and their reported benefits, in doing so, they are reluctant to initiate or formally incorporate this practice as a standard procedure. There is also a lack of consensus on the management of families’ presence, however, nurses agree on the need for preresuscitation assessment, support staff during resuscitation and post-resuscitation debriefing. Institutional factor is identified as a significant influence on nurses’ attitudes. This work will provide useful input in the future development of guidelines and will help stimulate discussion on this topic in Western Australia.
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