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A&E nurses must talk to patients

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A&E triage nurses should provide better explanations to patients and relatives about how emergency department care is prioritised, suggest Australian researchers.

A study of 128 family members, friends and carers – who accompanied patients to A&E – found significant differences in the way nurses and accompanying persons viewed the urgency of patient care.

The authors said that providing explicit communication about the triage process, explaining the reasons behind nurses’ decisions, and frequent updates during waiting times can all help improve patient satisfaction and reduce anxiety.

‘It has been shown that satisfied patients communicate positively with emergency department staff and are more compliant with their medical treatment,’ they said.

Journal of Clinical Nursing (2008) 17: 800-809

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