Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 8-9-1963


The study was designed to determine if the care given a selected group of patients in the hospital emergency department was individualized. The purposes of the study were: (1) to establish criteria by which it could be determined if patient care was individualized, (2) to utilize the criteria to determine if the care given a selected group of patients was individualized, and (3) to provide data which could serve as a basis for evaluating patient care in the emergency department. A review of literature from the health professions, behavioral sciences, and lay periodicals was made to ascertain: (l) if there was consensus among the health professions that a need existed for study in the area of patient care, (2) opinions about patient care expressed by persons in the health professions and laymen, (3) opinions about patient care in the emergency department, and (It) opinions of the concept of fundamental human needs. The descriptive survey research method utilizing the nonparticipant observation technique was used in the study. The population consisted of fifteen selected patients in one hospital emergency department, from whom data were collected and analyzed by classification and tabulation. Classifications established for analyzing data were: (1) need for knowledge, (2) need for personal recognition, and (3) need for security. For more delimited references to the classifications, sub-classifications were established. Analysis of data revealed that one-fifth of the population had all three needs met. Three patients each had two needs met, seven each had one need met, and two each had none of the needs met. The need for personal recognition was met for four-fifths (twelve) of the population. Needs for knowledge and security each were met for one-third (five) of the population. A little more than one-fourth of the total time in the emergency department patients were attended by the staff. During the remaining time, or a little less than three-fourths of the total time, they were unattended or waiting for care. It was concluded that the care given this selected group of patients in one hospital emergency department was not individualized.