• To recognise that emergency nurses have an opportunity to integrate health promotion in the care they provide
• To understand the barriers to health promotion in emergency care settings
• To consider how you could provide further health promotion to patients in your practice setting
Background Emergency departments (EDs) afford ‘teachable moments’ for health behaviour change, but staff may not see themselves as public health practitioners and it can be challenging to undertake health promotion activities in emergency care settings. Furthermore, the evidence on health promotion in these settings is limited.
Aim To investigate the views and experiences of emergency nurses and ambulance service paramedics regarding health promotion in emergency care settings.
Method A convenience sample of emergency nurses (n=3) and ambulance service paramedics (n=3) was recruited. An inductive and descriptive qualitative study design using semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis was employed.
Findings The participants understood health promotion and were willing to have conversations about it with patients. However, they cited several barriers to health promotion, including understaffing, a lack of understanding of the relevance of health promotion among staff, a lack of training and information, and the sensitivity of topics such as body weight and sexual health. Lack of time was not cited as a barrier.
Conclusion There are opportunities for developing the health promotion aspect of practice in emergency care settings, where staff and patients would benefit from a more structured, system-wide approach to health promotion.
Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2023.e2156Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software
Schofield B, Hoskins R, Rolfe U et al (2023) Health promotion in emergency care settings: investigating staff views and experiences. Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2023.e2156Acknowledgements
The authors wish to thank the study participants, who were working under huge pressure at the time of data collection due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic
Published online: 18 April 2023
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