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Emergency Medicine International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6082105, 7 pages
Research Article

Qualitative Inquiry into Challenges Experienced by Registered General Nurses in the Emergency Department: A Study of Selected Hospitals in the Volta Region of Ghana

1University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
2Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery School, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
3The School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana
4Morehead State University, Morehead, KY, USA
5Global Health Services Partnership, US Peace Corps, Washington, DC, USA
6Volta Regional Hospital, Ho, Ghana

Received 18 May 2016; Revised 12 October 2016; Accepted 13 October 2016

Academic Editor: Seiji Morita

Copyright © 2016 Confidence Alorse Atakro et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Registered General Nurses (RGNs) play crucial roles in emergency departments (EDs). EDs in Ghana are primarily staffed by RGNs who have had no additional formal education in emergency care. Additionally, basic, master’s, or doctoral level nursing education programs provide limited content on the complexities of emergency nursing. Nurses in EDs are affected by many challenges such as growing patient population, financial pressures, physical violence, verbal abuse, operational inefficiencies, overcrowding, and work overload. There is a paucity of research on challenges experienced by RGNs in EDs in the Volta Region of Ghana. In this qualitative study, twenty RGNs in EDs from three selected hospitals in the Volta Region of Ghana were interviewed. All recorded interviews were transcribed, reviewed several times by researchers and supervisors, and analyzed using content analysis. Five thematic categories were identified. These thematic categories of challenges were lack of preparation for ED role, verbal abuse from patients relatives, lack of resources in ED, stressful and time consuming nature of ED, and overcrowding in ED. Formal education of RGNs in the advanced role of emergency care, adequate supply of resources, increased hospital management support, and motivations for RGNs working in ED are necessary to improve the practice of emergency care.