Scribe during emergency department resuscitation: Registered Nurse domain or up for grabs?

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Background: Scribe nurses within metropolitan emergency departments are traditionally Registered Nurses who document the resuscitation event to provide a true and timely representation of what occurred. Enrolled Nurses undertake the scribe role in some Australian emergency department resuscitations, particularly in rural and remote health services. There is no Australian research evidence pertaining to the role of the scribe nurse within a resuscitation team. This study explored the scribe role and the nursing work involved within it to appraise whether it is appropriate to delegate the responsibility away from Registered Nurses.

Method: Using a qualitative descriptive design, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight Registered Nurses who had emergency department scribe nurse experience. Thematic analysis was adopted to identify common threads within the interview data.

Results: The four themes identified were the role, scribe effectiveness, expertise and 'scribe by default'. Participants were generally positive regarding the potential for Enrolled Nurses to scribe in metropolitan emergency department resuscitation teams.

Conclusion: The characteristics of an effective scribe; well developed communication skills, confidence and assertiveness and resuscitation 'know how', may be the measurement of readiness for the position of scribe nurse within the resuscitation team, rather than number of years of clinical experience or designation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalAustralasian Emergency Nursing Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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