The Prehospital assessment of severe trauma patients' performed by the specialist ambulance nurse in Sweden - a phenomenographic study





Scandinavian journal of trauma, resuscitation and emergency medicine;20(67)


BioMed Central



Background A common feature of prehospital emergency care is the short and fragmentary patient encounters with increased demands for efficient and rapid treatment. Crucial decisions are often made and the premise is the specialist ambulance nurse’s ability to capture the situation instantaneously. The assessment is therefore a pre-requisite for decisions about appropriate actions. However, the low exposure to severe trauma cases in Sweden leads to vulnerability for the specialist ambulance nurse, which makes the assessment more difficult. Our objective was to describe specialist ambulance nurses’ perceptions of assessing patients exposed to severe trauma. Methods This study had a phenomenographic approach and was performed in 2011 as an interview study. 15 specialist ambulance nurses with a minimum of 2.5 years of experience from praxis were included. The analysis of data was performed using phenomenography according to Marton. Results The perceptions of assessing patients exposed to severe trauma were divided into: To be prepared for emergency situations, Confidence in one’s own leadership and Developing professional knowledge. Conclusions This study reveals that the specialist ambulance nurse, on the scene of accident, finds the task of assessment of severe trauma patients difficult and complicated. In some cases, even exceeding what they feel competent to accomplish. The specialist ambulance nurses feel that no trauma scenarios are alike and that more practical skills, more training, exercise and feedback are needed.



© 2012 Abelsson and Lindwall; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited

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