Managing acute shoulder injuries in the emergency department
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Managing acute shoulder injuries in the emergency department

Lynda Jane Gibbons Prescribing advanced nurse practitioner in the emergency department, Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan, School of nursing, midwifery and health systems, University College, Dublin University College Dublin Ireland

Lynda Jane Gibbons explains how practitioners can identify and treat different kinds of shoulder injury, and offers an algorithm to aid their diagnoses

Patients with shoulder injuries commonly present to emergency departments (EDs) and minor injury units and it is vital that they receive the same high standard of care regardless of where they receive it or who delivers it. The author, therefore, developed an algorithm to help standardise diagnosis and management of shoulder injuries. This article describes acute shoulder injuries often seen in EDs and advanced health assessments of these injuries, including specific tests, and uses a case study to illustrate how the algorithm helped diagnose and manage care of a patient with a dislocated shoulder.

Emergency Nurse. 22, 6, 20-29. doi: 10.7748/en.22.6.20.e1350


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 20 July 2014

Accepted: 05 September 2014

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