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Article

The Meaning of Boarding in a Swedish Accident & Emergency Department: A Qualitative Study on Patients’ Experiences of Awaiting Admission

1
Department of Health Sciences, Lund University, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
2
Emergency Department, Helsingborg General Hospital, SE-251 87 Helsingborg, Sweden
3
Centre of Interprofessional Cooperation within Emergency Care (CICE), Linnaeus University, SE-251 95 Växjö, Sweden
4
Premedic AB, Ambulance Service Hässleholm, SE-281 25 Hässleholm, Sweden
5
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Skåne University Hospital, SE-224 42 Lund, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Healthcare 2021, 9(1), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010066
Received: 24 November 2020 / Revised: 4 January 2021 / Accepted: 10 January 2021 / Published: 12 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in the Emergency Department)
The number of in-hospital beds in Sweden has decreased during recent decades, resulting in the smallest number (2.2 available beds/1000 inhabitants) within the European Union. At the same time, the number of patients attending Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments has increased, resulting in overcrowding and boarding. The aim of this study was to explore the meaning of being subjected to boarding at an A&E department, as experienced by patients. A phenomenological-hermeneutic approach was chosen to interpret and understand the meaning of boarding at A&E. The study was carried out at a hospital in the south of Sweden. Seventeen participants with a mean age of 64 years (range: 35–86 years) were interviewed. The thematic structural analysis covers seven themes: Being in a state of uncertainty, Feeling abandoned, Fearing death, Enduring, Adjusting to the circumstances, Being a visitor in an unsafe place, and Acknowledging the staff, all illustrating that the participants were in a state of constant uncertainty and felt abandoned with no guidance or support from the clinicians. The conclusion is that the situation where patients are forced to wait in A&E, i.e., boarding, violates all conditions for professional ethics, presumably causing profound ethical stress in the healthcare professionals involved. Thus, boarding should be avoided. View Full-Text
Keywords: A&E; emergency department; suffering; qualitative study; phenomenological-hermeneutic; ethics; boarding; crowding A&E; emergency department; suffering; qualitative study; phenomenological-hermeneutic; ethics; boarding; crowding
MDPI and ACS Style

Rantala, A.; Nordh, S.; Dvorani, M.; Forsberg, A. The Meaning of Boarding in a Swedish Accident & Emergency Department: A Qualitative Study on Patients’ Experiences of Awaiting Admission. Healthcare 2021, 9, 66. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010066

AMA Style

Rantala A, Nordh S, Dvorani M, Forsberg A. The Meaning of Boarding in a Swedish Accident & Emergency Department: A Qualitative Study on Patients’ Experiences of Awaiting Admission. Healthcare. 2021; 9(1):66. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010066

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rantala, Andreas, Sören Nordh, Mergime Dvorani, and Anna Forsberg. 2021. "The Meaning of Boarding in a Swedish Accident & Emergency Department: A Qualitative Study on Patients’ Experiences of Awaiting Admission" Healthcare 9, no. 1: 66. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010066

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