Nursing Perceptions of Acute Physiological Decline

Rieke, Benjamin
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Aesthetic knowing in nursing has been defined by nurse scholars as intuition or a perceptive comprehension of patient experience or condition. How nurses describe their experiences with intuition in providing care for critically ill patients who are unable to verbally or consciously communicate was of particular interest. The specific aims of this study were to: 1) describe critical care nurses experiences of intuition in anticipation of acute physiologic decline, 2) describe critical care nurses’ integration of intuition and scientific knowledge in making clinical decisions for patients, and 3) describe critical care nurses’ experiences with communicating intuitive findings to health care personnel. The data analysis and thematic interpretation, a process of intuitive nursing care was identified. The three main themes that emerged were 1) Recognizing that something is not right, 2) Gathering the evidence, and 3) Communicating and advocating. Nurse participants in this study communicated a strong relationship between intuitive caregiving with improved patient outcomes. The participants also expressed a culture of collaboration among co-workers as facilitative of developing and trusting intuitive caregiving skills. A thematic ‘tool kit’ was developed which may serve as an educational model to promote nursing intuition. Future research will help to refine, implement, and test the tool kit for effectiveness in developing intuitive caregiving skills.

Critical Care, Intuition, Nursing, Qualitative Description