Table of Contents
ISRN Emergency Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 369423, 10 pages
Research Article

Family-Witnessed Resuscitation: Perceptions of Nurses and Doctors Working in an Australian Emergency Department

1School of Nursing and Midwifery, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia
2Nursing Executive, Joondalup Health Campus, Shenton Avenue, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia
3Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health Research, The University of Western Australia, P.O. Box 855, West Perth, WA 6872, Australia
4Department of Emergency, Joondalup Health Campus, Shenton Avenue, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia

Received 2 October 2011; Accepted 2 November 2011

Academic Editors: P. Eisenburger, A. Eisenman, W. Kloeck, and A. Pazin-Filho

Copyright © 2012 Rose Chapman 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.


Inconsistencies abound in the literature regarding staff attitudes and perceptions toward family-witnessed resuscitation. Our study builds on previous research by using a validated tool to investigate emergency department staff perceptions of family-witnessed resuscitation. A cross-sectional survey was distributed to 221 emergency department doctors' and nurses'. We found few differences between doctors and nurses perceptions toward family-witnessed resuscitation. Both nurses and doctors who held a specialty certification, who were more highly qualified, who had more experience with family presence during resuscitation, and who had a personal preference for having family members present during their own resuscitation perceived more benefits and fewer risks, as well as more confidence in their ability to manage these events. However, nurses more than doctors want patients to provide advanced directives for family presence. The findings will enable clinicians, educators, and hospital management to provide better support to all stakeholders through these events.