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The Emergency Department: Experiences of Patients, Families, and Their Nurses

Cypress, Brigitte S. EdD, RN, CCRN

Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal: April/June 2014 - Volume 36 - Issue 2 - p 164–176
doi: 10.1097/TME.0000000000000017

Research regarding the triad of nurses, patients, and family members looking at the lived emergency department experiences and their perspective of each from the other is notably absent. In this study, M. van Manen's (1990) hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used to explore, understand, and describe the lived experiences of nurses, patients, and family members during critical illness in the emergency department. Data were collected over a 6-month period by means of in-depth interviews. While nurses perceived that addressing the patient's physiological deficit promptly is paramount in the emergency department, they also indicated that including family members as coparticipants in the care is equally important. Patients and family members perceived that communication, critical thinking, sensitivity, and caring are necessary for emergency department nurses. The study supports recognizing the patient and family as active participants in the patient's medical care, encouraging family member presence, and creating institutional policies for patient- and family-centered care.

Department of Nursing, Lehman College, and PhD in Nursing Program, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York City.

Corresponding Author: Brigitte S. Cypress, EdD, RN, CCRN, P.O. Box 2205, Pocono Summit, PA 18346 (

Receipt of financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: (2011 Professional Staff Congress—City University of New York Traditional A Research Award).

Disclosure: The author reports no conflicts of interest.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.