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An investigation into the attitudes and practices of intensive care nurses towards verbal communication with unconscious patients

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Baker, C and Melby, Vidar (1996) An investigation into the attitudes and practices of intensive care nurses towards verbal communication with unconscious patients. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 5 (3). pp. 185-192. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.1996.tb00248.x

Abstract

This study attempted to investigate the attitudes and practices of intensive care nurses towards verbal communication with unconscious patients. A sample of five staff nurses working in an intensive care unit in Northern Ireland formed the basis for the study. The research design was non-experimental and descriptive-exploratory in nature, incorporating 4-hourly observational periods and structured interviews. Qualitative and quantitative analysis indicated that intensive care nurses spend on average 5% of their time verbally communicating with unconscious patients. Most of this communication involves informing the patient of immediate procedural matters or providing reassuring statements. Most intensive care nurses claim that verbal communication with unconscious patients is very important, and some ambiguity is apparent as to the unconscious patient's level of awareness. Major factors influencing communication are the patient's level of consciousness, the amount of physical care being given and the presence of relatives.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Nursing
ID Code:4415
Deposited By:Dr Vidar Melby
Deposited On:20 Jan 2010 20:13
Last Modified:11 Apr 2013 10:05

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