Mental health and staff well-being in the emergency department

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This collection of articles focuses on the mental health of emergency nurses. It includes peer-reviewed content, feature and opinion articles on how best to ensure the well-being of people working in the high-stress environment of the emergency department or at the scene of major incidents. The collection also covers mechanisms for coping as well as tips for building up psychological and professional resilience.  

Toxic behaviour

Toxic behaviour in the ED: why we must look after our workforce

If is vital to seek support if you witness bullying or are bullied yourself

De-escalation of acute behavioural disturbance

Acute behavioural disturbance: how to manage risk in the emergency department

Guidance on management covers de-escalation, restraint and tranquilisation

Corridor nursing: how can EDs maintain safety amid overcrowding?

Record overcrowding means patients arriving by ambulance are too often kept in corridors

(L-R) Royal Bolton Hospital ICU staff Jess Campbell-Tandey, Danielle Hollick and Becky Crompton with Mason

Colleague’s canine visitor boosts ICU staff morale

Companion dog-in-training Mason offers a welcome break from challenges of COVID-19, say staff

Abusive patients

Letters from trust prompt patients to apologise for abusive behaviour

The patients had been warned they may be refused treatment after aggression towards staff


Awareness of secondary traumatic stress in emergency nursing

How nurses can safeguard against secondary traumatic stress

Congress applauds fire chief over trauma support

RCN members applaud London’s fire chief for supporting staff affected by traumatic events

Emergency nurse’s trigger point underlines importance of our mental health

We must support each other in coping with the accumulation of stressful events

Reflections on personal psychological resilience arising from the Shoreham air crash in 2015

Reflections on personal psychological resilience after the Shoreham air crash in 2015

Reflections on a psychological journey with reference to the conservation of resources theory


We need to look after our workforce

Our Blue Light seeks to improve the well-being of emergency service professionals

Pinpointing and relieving stress in emergency departments

Emergency department staff may experience high rates of anxiety, depression and burnout


Emergency nursing during major incident plans

Hospitals expect a major incident plan to be implemented every three years, but following...

Tips for emergency nurses on building resilience

Emergency care staff can protect themselves from burnout by building resilience against the...

Death anxiety among emergency care workers

Interventions that could prevent the debilitating effects of death anxiety and improve staff...

How nurses can cope with stress and avoid burnout

This article draws on a systematic literature review to identify stressors in emergency and...