A description of the forensic nursing role in the emergency departments in Durban Metro.
Abdool, Nomusa N. T.
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Aim: The aim of the study was to describe the forensic role behaviour and expectations of the nurses working in the emergency departments. Design: An exploratory descriptive survey was used, using the quantative approach. The respondents comprised of registered and enrolled nurses who were registered with South African Nursing Council (SANC) and had the minimum of 6 months experience in the emergency department (ED). The emergency departments of two provincial and two private hospitals as well as two comprehensive care clinics were used. Instrument: A survey was conducted using a questionnaire consisting of forty items. The questionnaire was designed to describe the forensic role behaviour and expectations of nurses working in the ED. Data analysis: The quantative data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) program version 11.5 Findings: The findings revealed that the emergency department (ED) nurses were not certain about their role regarding forensic nursing. Most of the tasks to be performed by the ED nurses were rated as never done or seldom done. The reason was due to lack of training and knowledge in the field of forensic nursing. The ED nurses strongly felt that forensic nursing was very important to their daily activities especially in the emergency departments where they handle the trauma victims and suspects. Recommendations were suggested for the nursing practice, nurse educators and for future research in an attempt to expose the emergency nurses to forensic practice.