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Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2004 Feb;20(1):38-44.

Lifelong learning--the key to competence in the intensive care unit?

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1
Bournemouth University, ICU/HDU, Poole Hospital NHS Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB, UK. khuggins@bournemouth.ac.uk

Abstract

With continual advances in technology and changes in medical and nursing practice there is a need to continue professional development whilst working within the Intensive Care environment. This paper aims to consider why and how nurses working within the Intensive Care environment learn knowledge and skills. To explore nurses' experiences, a qualitative approach using a semi-structured questionnaire comprising open questions was used. The questionnaires were then analysed using line by line coding. The findings revealed that intensive care nurses learn knowledge and skills continually through a lifelong learning process in order to become a competent practitioner. Three themes were identified within this process: learning, opportunity, and outcome, all being affected by three factors: internal, external and patient-related. It is suggested that in order to organise and support effective learning, there needs to be an awareness of all of these factors and to be able to overcome the negative aspects to enhance the learning experience for all. The ultimate outcome of learning for the intensive care nurses was to practice competently in order to deliver high quality patient care.

PMID:
14726252
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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