Beginning a Research Project
The first step in conducting a research project begins with identification of a problem or concept, followed by investigating the idea. This investigation could include what is already known about the problem and if a solution has been identified that is supported by evidence (Tappen, 2016). As I thought about problems that occur in my work environment several issues came to mind. A phenomenon called alarm fatigue caused me the greatest concern on my unit. It is a topic that has been studied with published evidence-based solutions, however it continues to be a problem. Despite compelling evidence and solutions to the problem, alarm fatigue remains a subject that has the attention of healthcare leaders and governing agencies across the nation.
In an acute care setting there are many types of alarms including, cardiac monitoring alarms, ventilator alarms, pulse oximetry alarms, infusion pumps, bed alarms, and chair alarms to name the most common. These technological devices are aimed to increase patient safety by notifying the health care provider that there is a situation that warrants their attention. However, it is estimated that 85 to 90 percent of alarms require no intervention and are often times ignored due to the number of erroneous alerts and their frequency (Ensslin, 2014). Nurses become desensitized and overwhelmed with the amount of alarms they are exposed to. This sensory overload is known as alarm fatigue (Sendelbach & Funk, 2013). To compound the matter, according to The Joint Commission (TJC), (2013a) “in response to this constant barrage of noise, clinicians may turn down the volume of the alarm, turn it off, or adjust the alarm settings outside the limits that are safe an...
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...reased anxiety level of patients and families when alarms sound. Reducing false alarms could help reduce patient and family anxiety. Health care would benefit from proper alarm management by realizing a cost savings when patients remain free from additional treatment and monitoring due to mismanaged alarms. The nursing profession would benefit, by sharing strategies to remove barriers to proper alarm management. This too would help the nurse to uphold the nursing code of ethics, provision number three that states the nurse has a primary responsibility for the health, well-being, and safety of her patient (American Nurses Association, 2011). This project is relevant to society by potentially reducing loss of life due to mismanagement of alarms. Additionally, a prospective reduction in health care dollars could be realized related to the proper alarm management.
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