Development of a tool to measure the degree of communication and conflict that exists between emergency department nurses and paramedics
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Type of Work94 pages
SubjectsEmergency room nurses and paramedics -- Communication
Emergency room nurses and paramedics -- Conflicts
This study was undertaken to develop a tool that would examine the degree of conflict that exists between emergency room nurses and paramedics. The research was to be descriptive involving quantitative study of the relationships between variables. The variables include: interaction between ER nurses and paramedics prior to patient arrival in the emergency room, the different perspectives on patient care, and the differences in perceptions of job descriptions, responsibility, and roles of nurses and paramedics in an emergency department setting. The setting is via computer email. The questionnaire was developed, then sent by email to the primary study subjects, and was then mailed back to the researcher at her home address. The subjects were all members of America On Line and from the USA. The researcher performed a pilot study in Salisbury using a convenience group of five paramedics and five nurses from the local area. The subjects were chosen from the member profiles utilized on America On Line(AOL). A search was done by job description only. The list generated by the search was of screen names and no other personal information was obtained. The researcher sent by email, a cover letter to each subject describing the nature of the research. The subjects were required to read the questionnaire, answer it, and then mail the questionnaire back to the researcher. The questionnaire was sent to 51 nurses and 57 paramedics. There were minimal risks involved in this research. The subjects were only asked if they were paid or volunteers, if they were nurses or paramedics, if they were male or female, and how many years of experience and education they had. No other identifiers were used. Benefits Benefits to the subjects included, the satisfaction of participation in the research of the topic and the contribution to the development of a tool that could be used to improve relationships between nurses and paramedics. The global benefits were in five different areas: better continuity of patient care, improved understanding of the attitudes of nurses to paramedics and paramedics to nurses, improved working relationships based on professional respect and understanding, improved understanding of the conflicts that exist between nurses and paramedics, and better team work. Consent was not written. The cover letter of the questionnaire acted as a disclosure and advised the subject that if they returned the questionnaire, consent would be implied.The examination of conflict between nurses in an Emergency Department and paramedics required the development of two hypotheses. Descriptive statistics were used to examine the answers of the study subjects and a summated rating scale was chosen as the type of questionnaire to be used. Reliability of the tool was examined in the pilot study and changes were made to clarify questions. The primary study was also examined for questionnaire reliability , and items were discovered to again need rewording. Some of the items on the questionnaire required reverse scoring for the purpose of determining a conflict score. The higher the score on items 7 to 17, the more conflict was present. Research Hypothesis 1 and 2 related to the understanding by each group of educational background, patient care focus, and perceptions. Both hypotheses were supported by the findings of the study. Conclusions that were based on the findings of this study included: (1) the conflict that occurs between nurses and paramedics in the Emergency Department setting can be measured using a summation scale, (2) there is conflict that exists between nurses and paramedics due to lack of understanding of each others educational background, job focus, and perceptions, and (3) there is little difference between conflict scores of paid paramedics and those of volunteer paramedics.