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Primary Health Care Nurses’ Self-Perception of Theoretical Knowledges and Practical Skills in Life-Threatening Emergencies: A Cross-Sectional Study

  • José Antonio Cernuda Martínez (a1), Rafael Castro Delgado (a1), Tatiana Cuartas Álvarez (a1) and Pedro Arcos González (a1)



Within out-of-hospital emergencies, primary health care (PHC) nurses must face life-threatening emergencies (LTEs), which are defined as “a situation associated with an imminent life risk that entails the start-up of resources and special means to resolve the situation.”


The objectives of this study were to know the training received for out-of-hospital LTEs by PHC nurses of Asturias, Spain and the perception they have about their theoretical knowledge and practical skills in a series of emergency procedures or techniques used in LTE emergencies; as well as to analyze the differences according to the geographical area of their work.


Cross-sectional, descriptive, and observational study was conducted in 2018 of a sample of PHC service nurses of Asturias, Spain.


A total of 236 nurses from PHC service centers of Asturias, Spain, from among the total of 730 nurses who make up the staff of nurses of the PHC service of Asturias, between April and May 2018, were surveyed. The survey was designed ad hoc using the Doctrinal Body of Emergency Nursing (DBEN) proposed by the Spanish Society of Emergency Medicine (SEMES; Madrid, Spain), which indicates the theoretical and practical procedures that must be acquired by the PHC nurses. It is composed of 37 procedures or techniques employed in LTEs using an 11-point Likert scale rating to detect their self-perception about theoretical knowledge and practical skills from zero (“Minimum”) to ten (“Maximum”).


There were significant differences in the mean of theoretical knowledge and practical skills in many procedures or techniques studied, depending on the different areas of work.


All PHC nurses must be perfectly trained to provide initial quality assistance to the LTE, with both theoretical and practical knowledge of the different techniques, so that it can continue to be attended by the corresponding Emergency Service.


Corresponding author

Correspondence: José Antonio Cernuda Martínez, PhD Emergency and Disaster Research Unit Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences 7th Floor, Campus del Cristo 33006 Oviedo, Spain E-mail:


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