‘I can actually talk to them now’: qualitative results of an educational intervention for emergency nurses caring for clients who self-injure

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Aim and objectives.This Australian study evaluated the effectiveness of a solution-focused education intervention in extending and improving emergency nursing responses to patients who present because of self-injury.Background.Emergency nurses commonly report lack of training and feeling unskilled in managing people who present because of self-harm. Most educational interventions have provided content knowledge, yet rarely have they focused on conveying the value of health promotion strategies such as proactive skills and coping strategies.Design.A mixed method pretest–posttest group design was used.Methods.Nurses (n = 36) were interviewed to examine differences in professional identity, awareness of self-injury and clinical reasoning.Results.The qualitative results are presented in this paper and these showed improvements in knowledge and understanding of self-harm, self-belief in nurses' capacity to positively influence clients and the value of health promotion skills. The intervention produced a positive attitudinal shift towards clients and an expressed intention to act in ways that were more person-centred and change oriented.Conclusions.The solution-focused education intervention appears to show promise as an intervention for enabling nurses to value their unique contribution to providing a health service that is more proactive and health-promoting.Relevance to clinical practice.Interactive education bringing psychosocial skills to technical nursing staff builds confidence, competence and more person-focused care.

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