Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Sue Bell


When patients and families come to the emergency department seeking medical attention, they come in with many mixed emotions and thoughts. The fast paced, rapid turnover of patients and the chaotic atmosphere may leave patients who visit the emergency department with the perception that staff is uncaring. The purpose of this project was to implement a patient care delivery model, relationship-based care, in the emergency department. The model is comprised of several caring theories including Jean Watson's model of human care and Kristen Swanson's middle range theory of caring. The main goals of the project were to help staff enhance the patient and caregiver interaction, strengthen co-worker relationships, and gain appreciation of the importance of self-care. The intervention was an educational workshop about the relationship-based care model. Eight participants were consented, given a preassessment survey, educated about the model, and then given a postassessment survey. Prior to education, 83% of participants believed strongly that patients and families need to feel cared for during an emergency department visit; this increased to 100% posteducation. Perception about the importance of coworkers' relationships being trusting went from 38% to 50% and the importance of caring for one's self increased from 63% to 100%. It was recommended that the model be implemented in all emergency departments and all staff educated in its use as a way to promote social change through intentional focus on caring in every patient interaction.

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