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Acta Paulista de Enfermagem

Print version ISSN 0103-2100On-line version ISSN 1982-0194


BARRETO, Mayckel da Silva et al. Deciding “case by case” on family presence in the emergency care service. Acta paul. enferm. [online]. 2018, vol.31, n.3, pp.272-279. ISSN 0103-2100.


To understand how physicians and nurses experience and perceive the presence of families in the emergency care service.


This was a qualitative study that used symbolic interactionism as a theoretical reference, and grounded theory as a methodological reference. Twenty professionals participated – equally representing physicians and nurses - working in two emergency rooms located in the south of Brazil. Data were collected between October of 2016 and February of 2017, by means of interviews.


The existence of a social culture of family exclusion was identified, widely diffused and practiced by professionals. However, families sometimes remain with their loved ones in the emergency room, since professionals analyze and decide “case by case”, considering different aspects throughout the care process.


Multiple aspects are related in determining family presence during emergency care for physicians and nurses. Thus, a single directive on the presence of the family is not prudent. In fact, it is suggested that each health unit develop its protocols, considering local particularities.

Keywords : Family; Health personnel; Emergency medical services; Emergency nursing; Family nursing.

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