Emergency Department pandemic preparedness: Putting research into action
Jessica Lockett, MNS, RN, Quality Improvement Advisor
Reference: Lockett, J. (2021). Emergency Department pandemic preparedness: Putting research into action. Nursing Praxis in Aotearoa New Zealand, 37(3), 20-21. https://doi.org/10.36951/27034542.2021.028
Emergency nurses are experts at responding rapidly to change. Their everyday practice involves constant assessment and prioritisation of a dynamic workload to meet the needs of patients across the spectrum of illness and injury. When COVID-19 arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand in February 2020, staff in hospitals around the country rushed to prepare for the wave of infected patients seen overseas. Emergency nurses’ ability to adapt to unanticipated situations whilst working in an overcrowded and resource-constrained system made them important contributers to COVID-19 pandemic planning. Finding myself in the unique position of having just completed novel research into the perspectives of emergency nurses around pandemic preparedness, I felt a responsibility to ensure these perspectives were included in the pandemic response at the busy tertiary emergency department where I worked. Key findings from my prior research included the importance of managing the fear nurses felt about getting sick when caring for patients and of spreading disease to their family, friends, or to other vulnerable patients within their care.
COVID-19; emergency department; nursing; pandemic planning