In the best of days, we see minimal action, but in the craziest of times many things seem to compound and defeat our efforts. This paper is being presented to review the needs of updating our rapid response guidelines and rapid response teams. Being a front line nurse places ourselves in the most peculiar situations. We, as nurses, are the ones who notice and document changes in patient conditions. It is our keen sense of subtle changes that can enact and illicit responses from areas of higher levels of care. Understanding the purpose of initiating a rapid response creates a sense of reassurance in that there is always someone able and willing to help in declining circumstances. Rapid response was developed to aid in reducing the mortality rates of hospitalized patients (Spaulding & Ohsfeldt, 2014). The development of guidelines for initiated a rapid response can vary from institutions, although the basics are in a sense the same. Guidelines, such as changes in respiratory effort, vital signs, or outputs can cause great concern for nurses and with some set in “panic” mode. When patient conditions change, sometimes even in the slightest, this can warrant a need for summoning extra help. Slight changes can indicate a deeper issue and in some be a precursor to an impending critical event. The need to reduce critical events, such as cardiac arrest, was a driving force in the development of the “Rapid Response”.
After surveying 150 nurses in the acute care areas, including day, night, and weekend staff, 25 ancillary staff, including admissions and noninvasive areas, and 40 ICU nurses, many of the same concerns were expressed. The largest are of concern not surprisingly, was the acute care. They had a wide varie...
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...nges, actually having the opportunity to put those actions in to movement have been limited to just a few days.
In wrapping up, I found this project to be very interesting. Communicating with the staff on different levels, obtaining their insight on what that saw as a problem, and taking the time to find a solution was rewarding, in that we were able to provide a safer environment for the patients we care for on a daily basis. Bring everyone together, especially from different departments and modalities, increases interdisciplinary communication. Closing gaps and opening doors to changes in current practice to improve the safety is beneficial for every staff member and potential patient. Rapid response is important to prevent critical events, changing and updating our current practice to improve those responses is important for maintaining quality care.
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