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June 20, 2024/Nursing/Research

Study Examines Value of Procedure Resource Nurses in the ICU

Fellow critical care nurses welcome additional support and expertise

Procedure room nurse

When patients in the ICU require lifesaving procedures, the unexpected demand can further strain caregivers responsible for providing around-the-clock bedside care. For many critical care units, the addition of a dedicated procedure resource nurse can make these situations less taxing, but little is known about how the work of these specialists is perceived by their nursing colleagues. To address this knowledge gap, Cleveland Clinic cardiothoracic nurse leaders recently surveyed ICU caregivers about their perceptions of the procedure resource nurse role.

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“Caregiver satisfaction is paramount to the success of any clinical team, which is why it’s so essential to understand if a procedure resource nurse helps mitigate the growing demands placed on our staff,” explains Karrie Foster, MSN, RN, Director of Nursing at Cleveland Clinic’s South Pointe Hospital. “Procedure resource nurses are widely regarded for their expertise, but it is also important to quantify their value since their presence adds to the unit’s operating budget.”

Procedure resource nurses provide support to their nursing colleagues during high-risk interventions like thoracentesis; paracentesis; and the insertion of chest tubes, central lines, spinal drains and balloon pumps. In addition, they assist the ICU intensivist and can improve sterility and safety by ensuring that procedural checklists are followed. They also help ICU nurses perform emergency procedures by responding immediately with the necessary supplies; in addition, they can provide education and training to novice nursing caregivers.

“Furthermore, by acting as a liaison between patients and the medical team, procedure resource nurses can facilitate a smooth transition through different stages of treatment,” says Foster. “We hope our research will help hospital leaders better understand the value of procedure resource nurses and how to optimize the indispensable qualities they bring to the job.”

Study specifics

In a review of the literature, the researchers learned that procedure resource teams have been used in many hospital specialty areas; however, this prospective, cross-sectional study is believed to be the first to examine how clinical nurses in the ICU value this unique bedside role, Foster notes.

More than 125 critical care nurses participated by answering questions about value, satisfaction with the role, and most and least important role functions. Understanding the specific roles that are most and least important helps ICU team leaders advocate for the role and, once the information is shared with the procedure resource nurses, helps them focus on what matters most.

The analysis revealed that both novice and experienced nurse participants highly valued the role, and the three subscales of the survey tool (personal relevance, attitude and importance) all received high-value scores. Of the 10 specific roles evaluated, participants most valued procedure resource nurses’ interventional expertise; ability to ensure safe, high-quality patient care; and capacity to help alleviate the workload of other ICU nurses.

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Foster and her colleagues are developing a manuscript and have been invited to present their results locally.

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