BACKGROUND: Sedation management is an integral component of critical care practice. It requires the greatest attention of critical care practitioners because it carries significant risks to patients. Therefore, it is imperative that nurses are aware of potential adverse consequences of sedation therapy and current sedation practice recommendations.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the impact of an educational intervention on nurses' knowledge of sedation assessment and management.
DESIGNS AND METHODS: A quasi-experimental design with a pre- and post-test method was used. The educational intervention included theoretical sessions on assessing and managing sedation and hands-on sedation assessment practice using the Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale. Its effect was measured using self-administered questionnaire, completed at the baseline level and 3 months following the intervention.
RESULTS: Participants were 68 registered nurses from an intensive care unit of a teaching hospital in Malaysia. Significant increases in overall mean knowledge scores were observed from pre- to post-intervention phases (mean of 79·00 versus 102·00, p < 0·001). Nurses with fewer than 5 years of work experience, less than 26 years old, and with a only basic nursing education had significantly greater level of knowledge improvement at the post-intervention phase compared to other colleagues, with mean differences of 24·64 (p = 0·001), 23·81 (p = 0·027) and 27·25 (p = 0·0001), respectively. A repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed a statistically significant effect of educational intervention on knowledge score after controlling for age, years of work and level of nursing education (p = 0·0001, ηp (2) = 0·431).
CONCLUSION: An educational intervention consisting of theoretical sessions and hands-on sedation assessment practice was found effective in improving nurses' knowledge and understanding of sedation management.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: This study highlighted the importance of continuing education to increase nurses' understanding of intensive care practices, which is vital for improving the quality of patient care.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.