Education of ICU nurses regarding invasive mechanical ventilation: Findings from a cross-sectional survey
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Background: Continuing education for intensive care unit nurses on invasive mechanical ventilation is fundamental to the acquisition and maintenance of knowledge and skills to optimise patient outcomes. Purpose: We aimed to determine how intensive care unit nurses perceived current education provided on mechanical ventilation, including a self-directed learning package and a competency programme; identify other important topics and forms of education; and determine factors associated with the completion of educational programmes on invasive mechanical ventilation. Methods: A cross-sectional, 30-item, self-administered and semi-structured survey on invasive mechanical ventilation education was distributed to 160 intensive care nurses. Analysis included descriptive statistics and logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with current education completion, reported as adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Findings: Eighty three intensive care unit nurses responded and the majority (63%) reported not receiving education about mechanical ventilation prior to working in intensive care. Using a Likert rating scale the self-directed learning package and competency programme were perceived as valuable and beneficial. Hands-on-practice was perceived as the most important form of education and ventilator settings as the most important topic. Multivariate analysis determined that older age was independently associated with not completing the self-directed learning package (AOR 0.20, 95% CI 0.04, 0.93). For the competency programme, 4-6 years intensive care experience was independently associated with completion (AOR 17, 95% CI 1.7, 165) and part-time employment was associated with non-completion (AOR 0.23, 95% CI 0.08, 0.68). Conclusion: Registered nurses are commencing their ICU experience with limited knowledge of invasive MV therefore the education provided within the ICU workplace becomes fundamental to safe and effective practice. The perception of continuing education by ICU nurses from this research is positive regardless of level of ICU experience and may influence the type of continuing education on invasive MV provided to ICU nurses in the future, not only in the ICU involved in this study, but other units throughout Australia.