Situational awareness in the identification of abuse – Out-of-hospital emergency care providers’ experiences

Mari Helena Salminen-Tuomaala, Juha Tiainen, Eija Paavilainen


This qualitative study describes out-of-hospital emergency care providers’ experiences and views of situational awareness (SA) in the identification of abuse, including observations that led them to suspect abuse. Nine prehospital emergency care providers and three community paramedics were interviewed based on preselected themes. The data was analyzed using inductive content analysis. According to the results, emergency care providers’ self-defined situational awareness consisted of cognitive competence (logical reasoning and detection of cause-effect relationships); emotional competence (empathy and emotional intelligence); social competence (interaction skills and assessment of family dynamics), and experiential knowledge. Indicators of abuse involved the overall situation; the client’s physical condition; the client’s mental condition; the context and circumstances, and the logic in client reports. Although situational awareness develops with work experience, it is advisable for educators to include a wide range of cognitive, emotional and social skills in the initial and continuing education of emergency care professionals. These skills can be practiced using multi-professional simulation-based education.

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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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