Nursing Practice and Decision-Making Process in Response to Monitor Alarms among Critical Care Nurses
AuthorSchatz, Marilyn Rose
KeywordsCognitive Task Analysis
Critical Decision Method
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractBackground: Alarm interpretation and management are fundamental to managing critically ill patients. 1 There is little research as to the decision process nurses use to prioritize alarms or manage specific monitor parameters. Objective: The purpose of this study is to gain insight into the intricacy of the intensive care unit (ICU) nurses'critical decision process, using a human performance framework, when responding to monitor alarms. Method: Design: Descriptive design using semi-structured interview. Open-ended questions were developed based on the critical decision method (CDM) to explore ICU nurses' critical decision making process related to monitor alarms. Sixteen ICU nurses at a community hospital were interviewed to elicit perceptions and thought processes related to monitor alarms. Results: Responses to monitor alarms were affected by nursing experience, tones of the alarm, nurses' knowledge of the patient's condition as well as immediate visualization of patient to judge the urgency of an alarm. Both advanced beginner and expert nurses had similar initial response to monitor alarms; however, expert nurses added depth to their immediate assessment process by using previous experiences, intuition, and clinical expertise. Advanced beginner nurses frequently look to expert nurses for advice, guidance, and examples of clinical expertise. The majority of nurses had little or no formal training on the cardiac monitors used by that facility and all felt it would be beneficial in monitor alarm management. Conclusion: Understanding the decision-making process used by nurses can guide the development of policies and learning experiences that are crucial clinical support for alarm management.
Degree ProgramGraduate College