Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education (PhD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Roy Farley

Committee Member

Mary Ramey

Second Committee Member

Kristin Higgins

Third Committee Member

Stephanie Lusk


Psychology, Health and environmental sciences, Emergency department personnel, Emergency service workers, Mental health issues, Mental health treatment, Phenomenology, Qualitative research


Individuals who work in emergency departments and emergency services in the United States have daunting, overwhelming, and difficult tasks to perform. In addition to medical emergencies that include physical trauma and illnesses, emergency personnel treat individuals with psychiatric emergencies. This qualitative research study explored the lived experiences of ten emergency department personnel that had experienced working with individuals with mental health needs. The ultimate purpose of the study was to break down individuals’ experiences into a shared description of a universal phenomenon. The study utilized a phenomenological, qualitative research design to capture the essence of this phenomenon. Participants’ responses to semi-structured, open-ended interview questions generated the study’s results. The utilization of phenomenological questions in this study may afford insights into the roles of emergency department and their treatment of individuals with mental health issues.