Background: chest trauma is a common cause of mortality, major disability, and the leading cause of death from physical trauma after head and spinal cord injury.
Aim: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of educational guidelines on nurses' competence level in caring patients with accidental chest trauma during emergency period.
Study design: A one group quasi-experimental research design, with pre and post-test was utilized in this study.
Setting: The study was conducted in the emergency department (ER) affiliated to Tanta University Emergency Hospital.
Subjects: A convenience sample of all available nurses (60) who are working in ER department, and caring patients with accidental chest trauma affiliated to Tanta University Emergency Hospital, from both sex, different age and agree to participate in the study.
Data collection tools: The study data were collected using the following two tools: Tool (1): Nurses' self-administered questionnaire and Tool (2): Nurses' Observational checklist.
Results: The present study revealed that there was a highly statistically significant difference between level of nurses' knowledge, practice and attitude pre, post implementation of the educational guidelines. There were significant correlation between nurses educational level and their level of practice and knowledge post implementation of the educational guidelines with (P value= 0.001 & 0.004) respectively as P ≤ 0.05.while there were no significant correlation between nurses' attitude (pre & post) and their level of education as P > 0.05.
Conclusion: The implementation of the educational guidelines has a positive effect on nurses' competence level in caring of patients with accidental chest trauma during emergency period throughout the program phases. These findings support the research hypothesis.
Recommendations: Regular continuous nursing educational program at least every six months should be implemented for enhancing and updating nurses' knowledge and practice about nursing care offered to patients with accidental chest trauma during emergency period, in order to achieve high quality of care. Nursing care protocol for patients with accidental chest trauma during emergency period should be available in the ER department.
Key words: Trauma, educational guidelines, Emergency nursing, chest trauma, Thoracic injury.