Inpatient Nursing and Parental Comfort in Managing Pediatric Tracheostomy Care and Emergencies.
- Cedric V Pritchett, Melissa Foster Rietz, Amrita Ray, Michael J Brenner, David Brown
- JAMA otolaryngology-- head & neck surgery
Multispecialty inpatient units are the norm in today's acute care settings. Since few units have the luxury of seasoned otorhinolaryngology (ORL) nurses, care of the postoperative patient with a tracheotomy, including discharge teaching and planning are left to the generalists. Generalist nurses and new ORL nurses may find themselves experiencing fear and anxiety along with the tracheotomy patients they care for and teach. Experienced ORL nurses are continually challenged to find ways to share their expertise with patients and less experienced nurses in effective ways. This article presents a unique approach to preparing nurses to teach self-tracheotomy care to their patients. Medical-surgical staff nurses attended a 90-minute inservice program presenting actual clinical scenarios of temporarily learning-impaired patients with tracheotomies, and were asked to role play effective interventions. The program content is designed to address the reluctance of inexperienced, busy nurses to confront learning barriers and motivate patients to accomplish early postoperative involvement in tracheotomy self care. The widespread nature of the challenges faced by nurses and patients regarding tracheotomy care has been confirmed by discussions with colleagues on a national level. It has been confirmed further by the first author's clinical experiences in a wide variety of health care settings. Recommended nursing actions and responses to learning barriers presented here are based on expert opinion and clinical experience.