Author(s): Jay R
This paper is an account of a qualitative study of significantly injured patients' experience in the Accident and Emergency department (A&E) and explores the question 'What A&E nursing interventions are effective in providing reassurance and reducing anxiety in patients with significant trauma?' A review of the limited literature available indicates that when a seriously injured patient is admitted to the A&E department, the medical and nursing staff often respond urgently to the physiological crisis without adequate consideration of psychological needs. The research design used a version of the Critical Incident Technique to interview 7 patients who had sustained serious injuries a few days previously. The findings indicate that central to the delivery of emergency care is the individual's transition from their normal independent existence through pre-hospital trauma and into the isolating experience of fear, dependence and the resuscitation room. Different methods of coping were required to meet their needs and regain some control. Methods such as touch, company and information became paramount as did the need to trust the people seen to be in control of their new environment.