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More talk will improve A&E care

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

A study of 128 carers, friends and relatives who accompanied patients to A&E found significant differences in the way they and nurses saw the urgency of patient care. The authors said explaining the reasons for nurses’ decisions, and giving explicit communication about the triage process and updates while waiting all 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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