Emergency department nurses aren't like the rest of us

August 21, 2014, University of Sydney

(Medical Xpress)—Emergency department nurses aren't like the rest of us - they are more extroverted, agreeable and open - attributes that make them successful in the demanding, fast-paced and often stressful environment of an emergency department, according to a new study by University of Sydney.

"Emergency nurses are a special breed," says Belinda Kennedy from Sydney Nursing School, a 15 year critical care veteran who led the study.

"Despite numerous studies about personalities of nurses in general, there has been little research done on the personalities of nurses in clinical specialty areas.

"My years working as a critical care nurse has made me aware of the difficulty in retaining emergency nurses and I have observed apparent differences in personality among these specialty groups. This prompted me to undertake this research which is the first on this topic in more than 20 years.

"We found that emergency nurses demonstrated significantly higher levels of openness to experience, agreeableness, and extroversion personality domains compared to the normal population.

"Emergency departments (ED) are a highly - busy, noisy, and with high patient turnover. It is the entry point for approximately 40 per cent of all hospital admissions, and the frequency and type of presentations is unpredictable.

"Emergency nurses must have the capacity to care for the full spectrum of physical, psychological and social health problems within their community.

"They must also able to develop a rapport with individuals from all age groups and socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, in time-critical situations and often at a time when these individuals are at their most vulnerable.

"For these reasons, ED staff experience high levels of stress and emotional exhaustion, so it's understandable that it takes a certain personality type to function in this working environment.

"Our research findings have potential implications for workforce recruitment and retention in emergency nursing.

"With ever-increasing demands on emergency services it is necessary to consider how to enhance the recruitment and retention of emergency nurses in public hospitals. Assessment of personality and knowledge of its influence on specialty selection may assist in improving this.

"The retention of emergency nurses not only has potential economic advantages, but also a likely positive impact on patient care and outcomes, as well as improved morale among the nursing workforce," she said.

Explore further: Patients give higher scores for nursing care than do nurses

More information: "The personality of emergency nurses: Is it unique?" Belinda Kennedy, et al. Australasian Emergency Nursing, Received: March 4, 2014; Received in revised form: May 27, 2014; Accepted: July 15, 2014; Published Online: August 08, 2014. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aenj.2014.07.002

Related Stories

Patients give higher scores for nursing care than do nurses

August 6, 2014
(HealthDay)—A survey has revealed that patients at a single level-1 trauma center emergency room consistently rate the nursing care received higher than do the nurses, according to research published in the July issue of ...

Violence towards ER nurses not uncommon

July 11, 2014
(HealthDay)—It is not uncommon for nurses to experience violence while providing care in the emergency room, according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

Themes identified for improving end-of-life care in ER

September 5, 2012
(HealthDay)—Major and minor themes have been identified by emergency nurses who often provide end-of-life (EOL) care in the emergency department setting, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal ...

All hospital emergency rooms should be prepared for children

April 5, 2013
(HealthDay)—All hospital emergency departments (EDs), including community hospital EDs, should have the appropriate medications, equipment, policies, and staff to provide effective emergency care for children, according ...

Nurses effective at treating common arm injury in kids, but docs do it better

March 24, 2014
A clinical trial to determine if nurses in the emergency department could reduce "pulled elbows" in children at a rate similar to that of physicians found that althiough nurses were able to treat this common injury 85% of ...

Daylight is the best medicine, for nurses

August 4, 2014
For the health and happiness of nurses – and for the best care of hospital patients – new Cornell research suggests exposure to natural light may be the best medicine.

Recommended for you

Number of older people with four or more diseases will double by 2035, say researchers

January 23, 2018
A study published today in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, reports that the number of older people diagnosed with four or more diseases will double between 2015 and 2035. A third ...

Placental accumulation of flame retardant chemical alters serotonin production in rats

January 22, 2018
A North Carolina State University-led research team has shown a connection between exposure to a widely used flame retardant chemical mixture and disruption of normal placental function in rats, leading to altered production ...

Marijuana use does not lower chances of getting pregnant

January 22, 2018
Marijuana use—by either men or women—does not appear to lower a couple's chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers.

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.