Monash University

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Emergency nurses’ perceptions of emergency department preparedness for an ebola outbreak: a qualitative descriptive study

Version 2 2020-05-28, 23:30
Version 1 2017-02-26, 22:38
posted on 2020-05-28, 23:30 authored by Pincha Baduge, Mihirika Surangi De Silva
Introduction: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a highly contagious disease with a high mortality rate. The 2014 outbreak in West Africa grew uncontrollably, and on the 8th August 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern. Emergency Departments (ED) in Australian health services commenced preparation and vigilance for people presenting with EVD like symptoms, so that any spread of the disease could be prevented. Research Focus: This thesis examines emergency nurses’ perceptions in regards to their own and their EDs’ preparedness to manage an EVD outbreak in the Australian context. Research Approach: Qualitative Description Setting and Data: One ED, located in south-east of metropolitan Melbourne. A purposeful sample of 13 emergency nurses participated in focus groups (four). Data were content and thematically analysed. Findings: Major themes emerged from the data regarding organisational, personal and future preparedness. These themes are described and supported by relevant quotes from the participants. These findings demonstrated the participants’ regard that both the organisation and they had achieved desirable and appropriate preparedness for EVD in their ED setting. Some similarities and differences from existing published work were identified. Research Significance: General information about nurses’ views on their own and the preparedness of the ED to manage the risk of EVD will be useful to health services, educators, and policy makers. The research has implications for understanding how emergency nurses prepare and respond to the threat of diseases like EVD. The research provides useful information to deliver targeted forms of preparedness in practice, and to develop relevant education and policy.


Principal supervisor

Cheryle Moss

Additional supervisor 1

Julia Morphet

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Campus location



Master of Nursing

Degree Type



Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences