How Emergency Nurses in Indonesia sustain themselves and provide effective care?

Mrs Gilny Rantung1,2, Associate Professor Virginia  Plummer1, Professor Debra Griffiths1, Associate Professor Cheryle Moss1

1School of Nursing and Midwifery Monash University, Frankston, Australia, 2Faculty of Nursing, Indonesia Adventist University, Bandung, Indonesia

Background: Emergency nurses in Indonesia play a pivotal role in emergency care. However, the stressful nature of the emergency department can cause nurses to experience burnout, demotivation, and intention to leave, which will impact on the effectiveness of emergency care they provide. It remains unknown, nationally or internationally, how emergency nurses sustain themselves personally and professionally while providing effective care.

Aim: This study explored the actions and processes that emergency nurses use to sustain themselves.

Methods: This qualitative study utilised constructivist grounded theory methodology informed primarily by Charmaz (2014). To strengthened the research strategy, Clarke’s et al. (2018) situational analysis was adopted as a method to support Charmaz’s grounded theory processes. A total of 29 participants were involved in the study: 15 emergency nurses were recruited from two selected emergency departments in West Java province, and another 14 emergency nurses were recruited from 10 other provinces in Indonesia. Data were generated by contextual observations, multiple interviews, and individual observations.

Results: Through an iterative and simultaneous analysis process, five interconnected categories were constructed: ‘withdrawing self from distressing situation’, ‘maintaining a degree of professional attachment without much investment’, ‘reacting to the driving force’, ‘developing and strengthening oneself’, and ‘endeavouring to sustain and be effective’. These categories showed a dynamic process of how emergency nurses sustain themselves and provide effective care in the context of Indonesia.

Conclusion: The findings of the study provide significant information for future national and international emergency nursing workforce development strategies, as well as recruitment and retention strategies in the emergency department.


Gilny Rantung is a PhD Candidate in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University. She is also a nursing lecturer in Indonesia and awardee of LPDP scholarship.