Maintaining a safe environment in emergency department waiting rooms
Intended for healthcare professionals

Maintaining a safe environment in emergency department waiting rooms

Suzanne Robinson Lecturer adult nursing, clinical skills and simulation lead, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise factors that can result in communication breakdown between staff and patients, leading to potential confrontation in the emergency department (ED)

  • To enhance your ability to assess and manage patients safely in ED waiting rooms

  • To contribute towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

Increasing demand, overcrowding and insufficient resources have led to situations where patient care is delivered in emergency department (ED) waiting rooms. For nurses undertaking triage in the ED waiting room, overcrowding is challenging, particularly in terms of assessing patients in a timely fashion, monitoring patients for clinical deterioration and ordering investigations. Additionally, long waiting times and a lack of information can lead to communication breakdowns with patients and, at times, patient confrontations with ED staff.

This article explores the effects of the busy environment in ED waiting rooms on patients and staff such as triage nurses and waiting room nurses.

Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2023.e2189

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Robinson S (2023) Maintaining a safe environment in emergency department waiting rooms. Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2023.e2189

Published online: 19 December 2023

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