Larmhantering – intensivvårdssjuksköterskors strategier

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Sammanfattning: Background: The intensive care unit (ICU) is a specialised, highly technical part of healthcare. Sounding alarms are necessary to ensure patient safety within the intensive care. Due to sounding alarms, the soundscape in the intensive care treatment room is both complex and problematic. It has been well established that sounding alarms affect ICU nurses negatively by decreasing general well-being, fragmentating their focus and lowering their performance ability. Frequent alarms can ultimately lead to alarm fatigue for ICU nurses which results in lethargy and slow responses to alarms. That can manifest itself in a threat to patient safety, though ICU nurses at work are expected to be able to rapidly prioritise and act in emergency situations. However, there is limited research on what strategies intensive care nurses use to handle sounding alarms. Aim: To explore what strategies intensive care nurses use to manage sounding alarms. Method: Inductive qualitative approach with semi-structured interviews. Interview transcripts were analysed by a conventional content analysis method. Results: ICU nurses use various strategies to manage sounding alarms. These strategies are affected by certain characteristics and factors. These strategies and factors are presented as four categories: Preventative technical measures, actions outside of work, work experience and competence, and co-operation. Conclusion: Intensive care nurses use various strategies in their work to help sanitise the soundscape and avoid alarm fatigue. There is a lack of awareness and processes for handling alarms within intensive care. This results in nurses themselves having to take responsibility for limiting the risk of alarm fatigue. ICU managers should promote education and discussions around managing sounding alarms in the workplace. There is also opportunity for improving the working environment in patient rooms in regard to noise levels.

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