• Requesting and interpreting trauma radiographs: a role extension for accident & emergency nurses

      Hardy, Maryann L.; Barrett, Christine (2003-10)
      Government supported expansion of the nursing role within Accident & Emergency (A&E) departments in the United Kingdom (UK) has begun to break down the traditional barriers to professional practice. Today, many nurses working within A&E departments are both requesting and interpreting radiographic examinations as part of their normal working practice. However, role expansion does not occur without increased responsibility. Unsatisfactory requests for radiography and inaccurate radiographic interpretation may result in inappropriate patient treatment, misuse of resources, patient recall and litigation. Nurses undertaking these role extensions need to ensure that their levels of knowledge and skill to perform the role are appropriate and adequately supported. This article summarises the results of a national questionnaire survey of A&E nurse managers that aimed to identify current working practices, including education, training and limitations to practice, with respect to the requesting and interpretation of trauma radiographs by A&E nurses.