These current research projects are being supported by CENA.



Demystifying the role of the ED Clinical Nurse Specialist

Morphet, J; Jones, T; Dunshea, K


To develop national agreement on how the emergency clinical nurse specialist (CNS) role should be defined and function in Australian emergency departments (ED).

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A review of the use of Medication Standing Orders in Australian EDs

Morrow M, Patel B, Pache Dr D


The aim of this study is to review the current practice regarding the development, use and application of
medication standing orders in Australian Emergency Departments. The study involves two surveys, one of which
aims to explore nursing staff use and opinions of Medication Standing Orders in their Emergency Department.
In particular, we are hoping to gather information about:
• Your understanding of the definition of a medication standing order;
• Your frequency of use of individual medication standing orders;
• Your knowledge and confidence of use of medication standing orders; and
• The type of organisational support of use of medication standing orders

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Survey Closed

South Australian ED clinical staff experiences of an extreme weather event

Hammad K, Wake M, Zampatti C, Newmann S


The aim of this study is to try and determine how the extreme weather events impacted South Australian emergency department staff. We would like to know what worked, what didn’t work and what we can learn from this event that might help us better prepare for future major incident or disaster events. If you would like to participate please click on the link to complete a survey on your experience

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Survey Closed

CENA would like to raise awareness of research that has been conducted in the field of emergency nursing, in particular by acknowledging studies that CENA members may have contributed to as participants.


Emergency nurses’ professional quality of life and professional conduct during nurse-patient interactions

  • Jacqueline Ingram, Associate Professor Dr. Trudy Dwyer, Professor Dr. Kerry Reid-Searl, Associate Professor Dr. Tania Signal,


The primary aim of the current research is to explore if/how emergency nurses’ professional quality of life is related to their professional conduct towards patients.  The secondary aim is to explore emergency nurses’ own perception and understanding of professional quality of life and it’s impact upon their professional conduct towards patients.

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Study Closed


Psychosocial Care for Injured Children: Worldwide Survey among Hospital Emergency Department Staff

Eva Alisic, PhD , Claire Hoysted, BSc(Hons) , Nancy Kassam-Adams, PhD et al.

Aim/Abstract:  Examines emergency department (ED) staff’s knowledge of traumatic stress in children, attitudes toward providing psychosocial care, and confidence in doing so, and also to examine differences in these outcomes according to demographic, professional, and organizational characteristics, and training preferences.

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Nursing Roles and Strategies in End-of-Life Decision Making Concerning Elderly Immigrants Admitted to Acute Care Hospitals: An Australian Study.

Johnstone MJ, Hutchinson AM, Redley B et al

Aim/Abstract: There is a lack of clarity regarding nursing roles and strategies in providing culturally meaningful end-of-life care to elderly immigrants admitted to Australian hospitals. This article redresses this ambiguity.

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Skills, expertise and role of Australian emergency clinicians in caring for people with advanced cancer

Jelinek GA, Marck CH, Weil J et al

Aim/Abstract: To explore the views of Australian emergency department (ED) clinicians about their skills, role and expertise in caring for people with advanced cancer.

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Managing the advanced cancer patient in the Australian emergency department environment: findings from a national survey of emergency department clinicians.

Weiland TJ, Lane H, Jelinek GA, et al.
Aim/Abstract: Delivery of care to people with advanced cancer in the emergency department (ED) is complicated by competing service demands, workloads and physical design constraints. We explored emergency clinicians’ attitudes to the ED environment when caring for patients who present with advanced cancer, and how these attitudes are affected by access to palliative care services, palliative care education, staff type, ED experience and patient demographic, hospital type and region.
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Care of the dying cancer patient in the emergency department: findings from a National survey of Australian emergency department clinicians.

Marck CH, Weil J, Lane H, et al.
Aim/Abstract: Patients with cancer are presenting to emergency departments (ED) for end-of-life care with increasing frequency. Little is known about this experience for patients and ED clinicians in Australia.
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Ideal care and the realities of practice: interdisciplinary relationships in the management of advanced cancer patients in Australian emergency departments

Lane H, Weil J, Jelinek GA et al

Aim/Abstract: Over the course of their illness, a person with cancer is likely to see a number of different healthcare professionals, including those in the emergency department (ED). There is limited research examining the interaction and communication between the involved healthcare professionals when such a patient presents to the ED. This study aimed to explore the views and experiences of interdisciplinary interactions of healthcare professionals caring for patients with advanced cancer who present to the ED.

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“Better pathways of care”: suggested improvements to the emergency department management of people with advanced cancer.

Jelinek GA, Boughey M, Marck CH, et al

Aim/Abstract: It is difficult to provide optimal care to people with advanced cancer presenting to emergency departments (EDs). Recent data suggest that the ED environment, the skills and priorities of treating staff, and the lack of clear communication related to goals of care contribute to the difficulty. By exploring the views of emergency, palliative care (PC), and oncology clinicians on the care of these patients, this study aimed to describe potential solutions.

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Nurses’ knowledge of ageing and attitudes towards the older person in Emergency Department settings

Deasey D, Kable A, Jeong S

Aim/Abstract: CENA members were invited to participate in a survey to assess nurses’ knowledge of ageing and attitudes towards the older person in Emergency Department settings and investigate the characteristics of nurses that influence these.

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Caught in the middle: tensions around the emergency department care of people with advanced cancer.

Jelinek GA, Marck CH, Weiland TJ et al

Aim/Abstract: People with advanced cancer frequently present to hospital EDs. International studies report conflicting attitudes towards providing such care and difficulties with communication. The experience of Australian clinicians, however, is not described.

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Donation after cardiac death: are Australian emergency clinicians supportive?

Marck CH, Neate SL, Weiland TJ et al

Aim/Abstract: To improve organ donation processes and outcomes, many Australian hospitals have introduced donation after cardiac death (DCD) following the 2010 publication of the National Protocol for DCD. As emergency clinicians play a significant role in identifying potential DCD donors, it is critical to assess their support and knowledge. Although many support DCD, most are unaware of the protocol or procedures regarding DCD. Education is needed and desired by many emergency clinicians.

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Attitudes of Australian emergency department clinicians toward organ and tissue donation: an analysis of cultural and religious influences.

Weiland TJ, Marck CH, Jelinek GA, et al

Aim/Abstract: To determine Australian emergency department clinicians’ cultural and religious barriers to organ and tissue donation (OTD)

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Resource barriers to the facilitation of organ and tissue donation reported by Australian emergency clinicians.

Marck CH, Jelinek GA, Neate SL, et al

Aim/Abstract: To explore emergency department clinicians’ perceived resource barriers to facilitating organ and tissue donation (OTD).

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Study of Occupational Violence in Australian Emergency Departments

 Griffiths D, Morphet J, Plummer V et al
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Australian emergency clinicians’ perceptions and use of the GIVE Clinical Trigger for identification of potential organ and tissue donors.

Neate S, Marck CH, Weiland TJ et al

Aim/Abstract: In 2010 the Australian Organ and Tissue Authority introduced a nationally consistent indicator, the GIVE Clinical Trigger, for early identification of potential organ and tissue donors in EDs and intensive care units. This national survey of emergency clinicians aimed to assess emergency clinicians’ perceptions and use of the Trigger.

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Organ and tissue donation-related attitudes, education and practices of emergency department clinicians in Australia.

Jelinek GA, Marck CH, Weiland TJ, et al

Aim/Abstract: The ED is emerging as a priority for efforts to improve rates of organ and tissue donation (OTD) in Australia, but little is known of ED clinicians’ attitudes, education or practices in the area. We aimed to determine the attitudes and OTD-related educational background and practices of Australian ED clinicians.

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Personal attitudes and beliefs regarding organ and tissue donation: a cross-sectional survey of Australian emergency department clinicians.

Marck CH, Weiland TJ, Neate SL et al

Aim/Abstract: To assess emergency department clinicians’ general beliefs and personal attitudes toward organ and tissue donation, how general beliefs influence personal attitudes, and which demographic characteristics are related.

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Australian emergency doctors’ and nurses’ acceptance and knowledge regarding brain death: a national survey.

Marck CH, Weiland TJ, Neate SL, et al

Aim/Abstract: Healthcare staff’s acceptance of brain death (BD) being a valid determination of death is essential for optimized organ and tissue donation (OTD) rates. Recently, resources to increase Australian OTD rates have been aimed at emergency departments (ED) as a significant missed donor potential was discovered. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to assess Australian ED clinicians’ acceptance and knowledge regarding BD. Most (86%) of the 599 medical and 212 nursing staff accepted BD, but only 60% passed a 5-item-validated BD knowledge tool. BD knowledge was related to the acceptance of BD. Accepting BD influenced attitudes toward OTD, including willingness to donate. BD acceptance and knowledge were related to education/training regarding OTD, years of experience in EDs, experience with OTD-related tasks, and increased perceived competence and comfort with OTD-related tasks. Of concern, more than half of respondents who did not pass the BD test reported feeling competent and comfortable explaining BD to next of kin; of respondents who had recent experience with this, more than a third failed the BD test. Despite being generally positive toward OTD, Australian ED clinicians do not have a sound knowledge of BD. This may be hampering efforts to increase donation rates from the ED.

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NET Trial Summary and Progress

The Neurotrauma Evidence Translation trial is devoted to developing and trialling a consistent approach to the management of patients with mild TBI in Australian Emergency Departments (EDs). We have completed and published an extensive review of all published guidelines in this area and from this, developed a list of treatment recommendations for the ED management of mild TBI (Tavender 2011). We have also completed one-on-one interviews with ED staff and an audit of practice in two Victorian hospitals to gain a picture of how this environment functions (Tavender 2014). Using the information from our recommendations and the results of the interviews we have designed a strategy for optimising the ED management of mild TBI. A cluster randomised trial has been designed to test this strategy.

The trial has completed recruitment and ethics approval has been finalised for all participating sites. In total 31 emergency departments from around Australia have agreed to participate. All sites have been randomised and roll out of the trial commenced in late June 2014. The results of the trial will not be known until 2015

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Quality and Consistency of Guidelines for the Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in the Emergency Department

Emma J. Tavender, MSc, Marije Bosch, PhD, MSc, Sally Green et al

Aim/Abstract:  The objective was to provide an overview of the recommendations and quality of evidence based clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for the emergency management of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), with a view to informing best practice and improving the consistency of recommendations.

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Understanding Practice: the factors that influence management of mild traumatic brain injury in the emergency department – a qualitative study using the Theoretical Domains Framework

Emma J Tavender, Marije Bosch, Russell L Gruen, et al

Aim/Abstract: Mild traumatic brain injury is a frequent cause of presentation to emergency departments. Despite the availability of clinical practice guidelines in this area, there is variation in practice. One of the aims of the Neurotrauma Evidence Translation program is to develop and evaluate a targeted, theory- and evidence-informed intervention to improve the management of mild traumatic brain injury in Australian emergency departments. This study is the first step in the intervention development process and uses the Theoretical Domains Framework to explore the factors perceived to influence the uptake of four key evidence-based recommended practices for managing mild traumatic brain injury.

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Improving the care of people with traumatic brain injury through the Neurotrauma Evidence Translation (NET) program: protocol for a program of research

Sally E Green, Marije Bosch, Joanne E McKenzie et al

Aim/Abstract: The Neurotrauma Evidence Translation (NET) program was funded in 2009 to increase the uptake of research evidence in the clinical care of patients who have sustained traumatic brain injury. This paper reports the rationale and plan for this five-year knowledge translation research program. The overarching aims of the program are threefold: to improve outcomes for people with traumatic brain injury; to create a network of neurotrauma clinicians and researchers with expertise in knowledge translation and evidence-based practice; and to contribute knowledge to the field of knowledge translation research. The program comprises a series of interlinked projects spanning varying clinical environments and disciplines relevant to neurotrauma, anchored within four themes representing core knowledge translation activities: reviewing research evidence; understanding practice; developing and testing interventions for practice change; and building capacity for knowledge translation in neurotrauma. The program uses a range of different methods and study designs, including: an evidence fellowship program; conduct of and training in systematic reviews; mixed method study designs to describe and understand factors that influence current practices (e.g., semi-structured interviews and surveys); theory-based methods to develop targeted interventions aiming to change practice; a cluster randomised trial to test the effectiveness of a targeted theory informed intervention; stakeholder involvement activities; and knowledge translation events such as consensus conferences

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