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Promoting functional status of older adults in the emergency department : exploring nurses’ perceptions of care
Mary Ostrowski (author)Faith Richardson (thesis supervisor)Landa Terblanche (second reader)Corina Vogt (third reader)Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Older adults presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) are at risk for functional decline. Registered Nurses (RNs) in the ED are challenged to optimize the functional status of older adults in a dynamic practice environment with conflicting priorities and system demands. This interpretive descriptive qualitative study used elements of action research and visual methods to explore ED nurses’ perceptions of care on promoting the functional status of older adults in the ED. Eleven purposefully selected ED RNs completed a questionnaire and participated in up to three focus groups. Study results suggest that improving the ED nurses’ ability to promote the functional status of older adults in the ED can improve the wellbeing of older adults and ease nurses’ moral distress. From a cost and quality of life perspective, the vulnerability of older adults toward functional decline and the vulnerability of ED nurses toward moral distress must be recognized and addressed.
Emergency medical services.Older people – Hospitals.Health Services for the Aged.Geriatric nursing.Nursing Diagnosis.Older people – Health and hygiene.