Witnessed resuscitation exploring the attitudes and practices of the emergency staff working in the level one emergency departments in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Goodenough, Toni Jennifer.
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Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the attitudes and practices of the emergency staff working in the level one emergency departments in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, with regard to witnessed resuscitation. Methodology: A qualitative approach was used to explore the attitudes and practices of the staff. Two semi - structured interviews were conducted with each participant, an initial and a verifying interview, with each interview lasting between 15 - 30 minutes long. The researcher applied the principle oftheoretical saturation and a total ofsix participants from two of the four level one emergency departments were included in this study. One provincial and one private emergency department were chosen. All of the interviews were taped and transcribed prior to manual analysis, in which categories and themes were identified from the data. Findings: The emergency staff disliked the idea of witnessed resuscitation. They believed it to be a harmful experience for the witnesses, a threat to the resuscitation process, threatening for the emergency staff, and impossible to implement in their emergency departments that are already short of staff and space. Although these were their dominant feelings, there were subtle references made during the interviews that revealed that there were some aspects of witnessed resuscitation that they liked once they had considered the practice. There were no written policies to dictate how the relatives were handled, but all the staff agreed that the relatives were asked to wait outside-of the resuscitation area, they were kept informed and then brought in when the patient was stable or had died. A number of recommendations are suggested for education, practice and further research in an attempt to introduce witnessed resuscitation as an option in KwaZulu-Natal's emergency departments.