Methods: This research was a nationwide study using a cross-sectional research design. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 308 school nurses selected randomly and was delivered by way of a mailing method.
Results: The main findings included: (1) A moderate to high level of emergent care competence was revealed by this study (the mean score was 4.24 out of a possible score of 5; SD = 0.48). (2) Bivariate analysis showed that age, years of employment, adequacy of emergent care training, knowledge of emergent care, attitude toward emergent care, the level of understanding emergent care from school administrators, the administrators’ perception of importance of emergent care, the level of support from the administrators regarding emergent care, and the sufficiency of emergent care equipment and supplies were related to school nurses’ emergent care competencies. (3) Multiple and stepwise regression analyses on emergent care competencies indicating four variables (emergent care attitude, the sufficiency of emergent care equipment and supplies, emergent care knowledge, and the level of understanding emergent care from school administrators) could be singled out as significant factors and accounted for 34.7% of the variance. Further examining the predictors of three stages of emergent care (i.e. pre-stage prevention, occurring stage, and post-stage management), we found attitude towards emergent care was the only factor of predicting three stages. Adequacy of emergent care training was the predictor of pre-stage and post-stage; knowledge of emergent care and the sufficiency of emergent care equipment and supplies were the occurring stage predictor factor; and the level of understanding emergent care from school administrators was the post-stage predictor factor.
Conclusion: Based on our findings, we recommend that the Ministry of Education should offer more and advanced emergent care in-service training to school nurses, especially in burn assessment, external genital trauma management, pneumothorax management, drug abuse assessment and management, and vomit disinfection management, and also provide better emergency equipment. At the same time, school administrators should take the initiative to understand relevant policies and practice regarding emergent care. School nurses should continuously increase knowledge of emergent care and develop a positive attitude towards emergent care. By doing so, we look forward to better enhancing school nurses’ emergent care competencies to provide teachers and students the best care they can get.
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