Using problem-based learning to improve patient safety in the emergency department
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Using problem-based learning to improve patient safety in the emergency department

Sunil Sahota Emergency nurse practitioner and practice educator, emergency department, Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the pressures involved in ensuring patient safety in the emergency department

  • To learn about the theory underpinning problem-based learning and team-based learning

  • To recognise that these teaching methods can enable learners to address patient safety challenges encountered in clinical practice

Pressures from rising patient numbers and overcrowding in emergency departments (EDs) are putting patients’ safety at risk. Beyond improved provision of resources, two elements are essential to patient safety in emergency care – work culture and staff training. In traditional training environments, the teacher dispenses knowledge to nursing students in a classroom setting. However, problem-based learning (PBL) and the related concept of team-based learning (TBL) aim to enhance learners’ knowledge and skills in non-technical subjects, such as patient safety, as well as their ability to address challenges they encounter in clinical practice. This article explores the theories that underpin PBL and TBL and discusses how they can be used by nurse educators to motivate staff and improve patient safety in the ED.

Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2020.e1958

Peer review

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



Conflict of interest

None declared

Sahota S (2020) Using problem-based learning to improve patient safety in the emergency department. Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2020.e1958

Published online: 07 January 2020

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