Newly qualified Saudi nurses’ ability to recognise the deteriorating child in hospital

Al-Thubaity, Daifallah, Williamson, Susan orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9635-4473, LEAVEY, RALPH and Tume, Lyvonne (2019) Newly qualified Saudi nurses’ ability to recognise the deteriorating child in hospital. Nursing In Critical Care, 24 (5). pp. 263-267. ISSN 1362-1017

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It is recognised that nurses’ failure to recognise and respond promptly to a deterioration in children’s physiological status can result in increased morbidity and mortality.
The aim of this study was to explore Saudi-educated newly qualified nurses, working in paediatric wards, ability to recognise children’s deterioration.
A pilot study was carried out to assess Nurses’ responses to three clinical vignettes (deteriorating child, improving child and ambiguous scenarios). The nurses’ ability to make a correct identification was captured using a ‘Think Aloud’ approach and quantified using a visual analogue scale.
Twenty-seven nurses in two geographical regions in Saudi Arabia participated. Only half the nurses (51.8%) correctly identified the deteriorating child vignette. Of the ones who could not, 37% were unsure and 11% responded incorrectly. No nurses correctly identified all three vignettes, and four nurses (15%) responded incorrectly to all vignettes.
Relevance to clinical practice
Newly qualified nurses working in paediatric wards frequently find it difficult to identify the deteriorating child.
The recognition of the deteriorating child is complex, and even in non-stressful simulated scenarios using vignettes, many newly qualified nurses working with children failed to recognise clear signs of the deteriorating child. A focused (culturally specific) educational intervention is being developed to target this, taking into account the Saudi nurses’ perceived education and training needs.

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