An exploration of a nursing role in Emergency Department waiting rooms

Innes, K

Waiting room nurses have been introduced in some EDs to provide dedicated to care for patients in the waiting room.  There is some evidence that waiting room nurses helped to meet patient and carer expectations, including the commencement of care on arrival (Cashin et al., 2007; Fry et al., 2012; Garling, 2008b). However, there is limited evidence that waiting room roles decrease waiting times, ED length of stay, or number of patients leaving without being seen by a medical officer (Cheng et al., 2013; Fry & Jones, 2005; Fry et al., 2012; Huang et al., 2013).

Further, there is limited evidence underpinning the model of the waiting room nurse role, including scope of practice, and expertise required to perform in this role.

The aim of this study are to explore the introduction of a nurse allocated to care for patients in ED waiting rooms. The specific study objectives are to explore:

  1. Factors contributing to the development of a waiting room nursing roles.
  2. Current role and models of waiting room nursing roles in practice.
  3. Nurses’ perceptions of waiting room nursing roles.

This current application relates to Phase Three of the study.