Health  Vol.8 No.15 , December 2016
Clinical Decision-Making among Critical Care Nurses: A Qualitative Study
Abstract: The purposes of this study were to describe the decision making process and decision activities of critical care nurses in natural clinical settings. An exploratory descriptive approach utilizing both interview and observation methods, was used for data collection. The study involved twenty four critical care nurses from three hospitals in Jordan. Participant observation was performed to understand the routine clinical decisions made by Intensive Care nurses. About 150 hours of observations were spent in the involved Intensive Care Units. Nurses were interviewed to elicit information about how they made decisions about patient’s care. The study revealed that the most common model nurses tend to use was intuitive model in order to observe the cues relating to the patient’s situation. Data revealed that the decision making process is continuous and that experience is one of the main factors that determine nurses’ ability to take decisions. Five themes were generated from the data: on-going process, autonomy, experience/power, joint/ethical decisions, and advocacy. Critical care nurses were seen to be sensitive to the patient’s verbal and non-verbal cues; they were able to respond to these evidences to ensure that the patient’s condition did not deteriorate. Critical care nurses are likely to be more confident and effective when dealing with patient’s changing situations with more experience.
Cite this paper: Maharmeh, M. , Alasad, J. , Salami, I. , Saleh, Z. and Darawad, M. (2016) Clinical Decision-Making among Critical Care Nurses: A Qualitative Study. Health, 8, 1807-1819. doi: 10.4236/health.2016.815173.

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