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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care
Minerva Anestesiologica 2009 July-August;75(7-8):427-33
Non-invasive ventilation outside the Intensive Care Unit for acute respiratory failure: the perspective of the general ward nurses
Cabrini L., Monti G., Villa M., Pischedda A., Masini L., Dedola E., Whelan L., Marazzi M., Colombo S.
Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, Vita-Salute University, Milan, Italy
Background. The introduction of non-invasive ventilation outside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is an increasing phenomenon, motivated by the shortage of intensive care beds and growing confidence with the technique. However, although general ward nurses are responsible for carrying out the daily management of the treatment and the extra monitoring it requires, their perspective on non-invasive ventilation (NIV) has never before been studied, and as a result their training is often neglected.
Methods. A questionnaire was administered to the nurses of four non-intensive wards. The questionnaire addressed several issues, including the extent of the nurses’ involvement in the decision to start the treatment, their relationship with the ward physicians and the Medical Emergency Team (MET), the monitoring, incidence, and management of errors and complications, the adhesion to the prescribed ventilatory program, and the desired training.
Results. Out of 115 nurses, 90 completed the questionnaire (78.3%). Of this group, 67% did not feel involved in the decision-making process, and half felt they were inadequately informed. Approximately one third reported that they did not have adequate consultations with the doctors in the ward or with the MET. Only 13% of the nurses stated that the training was adequate (0% in medical wards).
Conclusion. Nurses indicated a strong demand for training on NIV, in order to improve their involvement with the therapeutic program and for better communication with the MET and ward doctors. We conclude that active research towards understanding their point of view should be included as part of the quality control of NIV treatments outside the ICU.