The A&E unit is a unique environment with unique problems, including those problems pertaining to the documentation of the nursing care provided to the critically ill or injured patient. In such a hectic and turbulent environment where minutes can be the decider between life and death, saving the patient’s life takes priority over record keeping, and crucial information is not recorded. The aim of this study was to develop a nursing record tool to record the management of critically ill or injured patients in an accident and emergency (A&E) unit. The researcher used the collaborative inputs of three different groups of experts in the field of A&E nursing and record keeping to reach this aim. The study was descriptive, explorative and contextual in nature, and a qualitative approach was used. The A&E nurse practitioners views were incorporated into a final nursing record tool that could be used in the A&E unit for critically ill or injured patient for the first six hours of resuscitation. The compiled nursing record tool was comprehensive and included a prehospital management section to ensure the continuity of care in the emergency environment. Although more comprehensive as the current tool, the use of tick-off prompts shortened the time spend to complete this nursing record tool and, in doing so, increased the retaining of crucial information that could enhance the quality and ensure the continuity of care pertaining the critically ill or injured patient in the changing emergency environment.
Dissertation (MCur)--University of Pretoria, 2009.