Deakin University

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What nurses involved in a Medical Emergency Teams consider the most vital areas of knowledge and skill when delivering care to the deteriorating ward patient. A nurse-oriented curriculum development project

journal contribution
posted on 2018-08-01, 00:00 authored by Judy CurreyJudy Currey, Debbie Massey, Josh Allen, Daryl Jones
INTRODUCTION: Critical care nurses have been involved in Rapid Response Teams since their inception, particularly in medically led RRTs, known as Medical Emergency Teams. It is assumed that critical care skills are required to escalate care for the deteriorating ward patient. However, evidence to support critical care nurses' involvement in METs is anecdotal. Currently, little is known about the educational requirements for nurses involved in RRT or METs. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to identify and describe what nurses involved in a MET consider the most vital areas of knowledge and skill when delivering care to the deteriorating ward patient. METHODS: An exploratory descriptive design was used and data was collected at a session of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Rapid Response Team (ANZICS-RRT) Conference held at The Gold Coast, Australia in July 2015. All conference delegates were eligible to take part. Conference delegates totalled 293; 194 nurses, 89 doctors and 10 allied health professionals. Data collection took place in three phases, over a 90-minute period. First, demographic data were collected from all participants at the start of data collection. These data were collected using paper-based surveys. Second, extended response surveys; that is, paper-based surveys that asked open-ended questions to elicit free text responses, were used to collect participants' individual responses to the question: "What are the specific theoretical knowledge, skills and behavioural attributes required in a curricula to prepare nurses to be high functioning members of a MET?" Demographic, educational and work characteristics were descriptively analysed using SPSS (version 22). Participants perceptions of what knowledge, skills and attributes are required for nurses to recognise and respond to clinical deterioration were thematically analysed. RESULTS: Participants were predominantly female (88.3%, n = 91) with 54.4% (n = 56) holding a Bachelor of Nursing. Participants had a median of 20 years (IQR 16) experience as RNs, and a median of 14 years (IQR 13) experience in critical care. Participants formed part of METs frequently, with nearly half the cohort seeing clinically deteriorating patients more than once per day (37.9%, n = 33) or daily (10%, n = 9). Thematic analysis of survey responses revealed four main themes desired in Rapid Response Team Curricula: Clinical Deterioration Theory, Clinical Deterioration Skills, Rapid Response System Governance, and Professionalism and Teamwork. CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that a curriculum that educates nurses on the specific requirements of assessing, managing and evaluating all aspects of clinical deterioration is now required.



Nurse Education Today




77 - 82




Amsterdam, The Netherlands







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, Elsevier