First initiatives in prehospital care-Basing assessments on incomplete preliminary information

Martin N. Hernborg, Eric D. Carlström, Johan M. Berlin


Rationale and aim: Ambulance staff, i.e. registered nurses and assistant nurses, receive assignments from emergency dispatch centres including information on level of priority, address and patient’s care requirements. One problem is that the preliminary information the dispatcher gives to the ambulance staff may be incomplete. The purpose of this study was to determine how ambulance staff base their assessments on incomplete preliminary information when assessing care requirements.

Methods: Fifteen ambulance staff working at seven ambulance stations were interviewed for this study. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using content analysis.

Results: Incomplete preliminary information means that ambulance staff may be misdirected. This means that if the preliminary information from the dispatcher is incomplete, the ambulance staff need to reassess, and this is perceived to be difficult. Ambulance staff tend to stick to the first initiative that is taken after they receive an alert from the dispatcher.

Conclusions: When ambulance staff receive incomplete preliminary information, they need to consider the possibility of conducting a reassessment. Based on the results, there is a need for new procedures to improve preparedness to conduct a reassessment after receiving incomplete preliminary information.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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