Topic Briefs


Topic Briefs are informational documents developed by ENA that provide the reader with knowledge on a subject relevant to emergency care.  

  • Adult Immunizations (07/2013) – Immunizations are effective ways to protect against many communicable diseases. Current levels of appropriate vaccination in the adult population remain low. Annually the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) review and update the adult immunization schedule. This brief provides information on adult immunizations. 

  • The Bariatric/Obese Patient (12/2013) - Providing safe and sensitive care for bariatric/obese patients in the emergency department can be challenging. Nurses can meet this challenge by understanding and anticipating the special care needs of this population and by using the tools and resources available to assist clinicians. 

  • Care of Behavioral Health Patients (02/2015) - Emergency department care providers are challenged daily with caring for behavioral health patients across the lifespan. In 2013, the Emergency Nurses Association published a white paper entitled Care of the Psychiatric Patient in the Emergency Department that identified best practices and gaps in caring for the behavioral health patient in the ED. The purpose of this topic brief is to summarize the findings of this white paper.

  • Collaborative Care for the Older Adult (12/2014) -  Infections and other conditions among older adults living in skilled nursing facilities may lead to potentially avoidable hospitalizations and readmissions. This topic brief illustrates collaborative initiatives that can be implemented by skilled nursing facilities, patients/caregivers and emergency department nurses to help reduce these potentially avoidable admissions as well as promote safe transitions in care.

  • Compassion Fatigue (07/2014) - Compassion is a central component of nursing. It is a natural response to react with compassion when witnessing the emotional and physical turmoil of another human being. This topic brief describes the reality of compassion fatigue with methods to recognize, combat and prevent this condition, leading to compassion satisfaction.

  • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) (Updated 09/2015) - The 2014 Ebola outbreak originating in West Africa has received international attention, not only because of the severity of its symptoms and high fatality rate, but also because of public fears and questions regarding infectious disease containment and control. The purpose of this topic brief is to examine EVD, discuss transmission, review prevention and containment measures, and consider future preparation strategies.

  • Health Literacy (12/2012) – Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health care decisions. Learn how health care providers can address the health literacy needs of patients and their families.

  • Health Information Technology (HIT)  (12/2012)– Learn about HIT in the emergency department and how it will impact emergency nursing practice and emergency care. 

  • Healthy Work Environment  (02/2013) – This brief examines the components necessary to achieve and sustain a healthy work environment in the health care setting where nurses practice.

  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome - Coronavirus Strain (MERS-CoV) (12/2015)- Healthcare providers, particularly ED nurses, play a pivotal role in identifying and managing infectious disease outbreaks and epidemics. With the current increase of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus strain (MERS-CoV), it is essential that healthcare providers be informed. The purpose of this topic brief is to examine MERS-CoV, discuss its transmission, review clinical manifestations, evaluate current treatment guidelines, and assess prevention and containment measures.  

  • The Well Nurse (12/2015)- Nurses are responsible for maintaining the integrity of their profession and for providing safe and optimal patient care. But just like their patients, it may often be difficult for nurses to find the time and motivation to take care of themselves. A nurse who seeks out health and holistic wellness may have a more positive attitude and increased productivity. The purpose of this topic brief is to encourage nurses to assess and prioritize their own health and well-being and to educate them in how to become a well nurse. 

  • Use of Thromboelastography in the Emergency Department  (12/2015) – A major cause of preventable deaths following traumatic injury is uncontrolled bleeding and its associated coagulopathies. One measure to aggressively address coagulopathy and guide transfusion therapies is the implementation of thromboelastography (TEG) laboratory testing. The purpose of this topic brief is to provide an overview of TEG, examine the implications of TEG for emergency nursing practice including its application in trauma resuscitation, and discuss opportunities for future research.