Introduction The aim of this study was to understand the present nursing roles at the PICU and the changes nurses want to be accounted for or are seen as a valuable addition to their nursing profession.
Methods A qualitative study. Data were collected by face-to-face focus groups.
Results After three focus-group meetings, seventeen themes were identified. Major specific nursing roles were 1) nurse led weaning from the ventilator was identified by nurses as well as physicians. 2) case management to improve PICU care and transition of the long stay patient, identified by nurses as well as physicians. 3) More effective painmanagement when the nurse was responsible for titration. 4) the role of a consultative nurse. This role was mentioned by nurses only.
In the subthemes main subjects were the need for appropriate care for the long stay patient and the need of ongoing education.
Discussion Both, nurses and physicians recognised a need for change in nursing care for the long stay patient at the PICU. This suits with the changing PICU environment.
Nurses could have a role in bedside procedures such as pain and sedation management and weaning from the ventilator. This will enhance the area of nursing autonomy, control and responsibility and from literature we know satisfaction in the workplace also will grow.
The deployment of a consultative nurse may improve the satisfaction of patients and parents after discharge from the PICU and will unburden the growing responsibility of the nurses on the paediatric ward.
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