Buy this Article for $10.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


alcohol, attitude, emergency nursing, professional skills



  1. Hakala, Tiina MNSc, RN
  2. Kylma, Jari PhD
  3. Paavilainen, Eija PhD
  4. Koivunen, Marita PhD


Aim: The aim of the study was to describe nurses' skills, knowledge of care, and attitudes toward the care of patients with alcohol intoxication in the emergency department.


Method: The data were collected using theme interviews in 2016. The study participants were nurses working in the emergency department (n = 6) that has a sobering unit. The data were analyzed using inductive content analysis.


Results: On the basis of the interviewees' descriptions, five main categories were formed: the skills to discuss the use of alcohol on arrival, safety skills, teamwork skills, the skills to organize follow-up care, and nurses' attitudes and ethics in patients' care. Asking about the use of alcohol as well as the use of a screening tool varied. The interviewees emphasized the skills to anticipate the risk of violence as well as ensuring the safety of the working environment. Nurses' attitudes were seen as the ability to regulate negative emotions raised by the patient. Factors related to nurses' attitudes emerged in patients' behavioral disorders and commitment to treatment. Despite some negative feelings toward patients, nurses thought that it is important to ensure ethicality in patients' care.


Conclusions: The nurses' skills and knowledge of care and attitudes toward patients with alcohol intoxication varied. There is a need for additional training on issues relating to the treatment of patients with alcohol intoxication.