BACKGROUND: It is recognized that nurses' failure to recognize and respond promptly to deterioration in children's physiological status can result in increased morbidity and mortality.
AIM: The aim of this study was to explore the ability of Saudi-educated, newly qualified nurses, working in paediatric wards, to recognize children's deterioration.
METHODS: 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.
RESULTS: Twenty-seven nurses in two geographical regions in Saudi Arabia participated. Only half the nurses (51·8%) correctly identified the deteriorating child vignette. Of those 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.
CONCLUSIONS: 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 recognize clear signs of deterioration. A focused (culturally specific) educational intervention is being developed to target this, taking into account Saudi nurses' perceived education and training needs.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Newly qualified nurses working in paediatric wards frequently find it difficult to identify the deteriorating child.
- Child, Preschool
- Clinical Competence/standards
- Clinical Deterioration
- Critical Care Nursing/standards
- Early Diagnosis
- Infant, Newborn
- Middle Aged
- Monitoring, Physiologic/standards
- Nursing Staff, Hospital/education
- Pilot Projects
- Practice Guidelines as Topic
- Saudi Arabia