Staff attitudes towards the care of the critically ill in the medical intensive care unit.

S. Youngner, D. L. Jackson, M. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In an attempt to study the basis for conflict and tension surrounding decision making in ICU settings, a questionnaire was used to examine staff attitudes in a newly opened medical ICU in four major areas: (1) ethical issues; (2) decision-making process; (3) communications; and (4) emotional reactions of staff. All of the 36 house officers and 32 of 34 nurses (all RNs) completed the questionnaire. Results showed there was no monolithic nursing as opposed to physician position on any issue. Futhermore, professional role exerted a more profound influence on attitudes than gender or religious background. There was remarkable agreement between physician and nurse groups on ethical issues. However, nurses were less satisfied with the decision-making process and communication in the medical ICU and were more aware than physicians of their own and other's emotional reactions. The results suggested four ways to reduce tension in the medical ICU: (1) frankly recognize the inevitability of conflict and tension in a system where physicians have ultimate authority; (2) avoid perpetuating stereotypes; (3) maximize the continuity of physician care; and (4) maximize communication between and within professional groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Volume7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1979
Externally publishedYes

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Attitude of Health Personnel
Critical Illness
Intensive Care Units
Physicians
Decision Making
Nurses
Communication
Ethics
Professional Role
Continuity of Patient Care
Nursing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

Cite this

Staff attitudes towards the care of the critically ill in the medical intensive care unit. / Youngner, S.; Jackson, D. L.; Allen, M.

In: Critical Care Medicine, Vol. 7, No. 2, 02.1979, p. 35-40.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Youngner, S. ; Jackson, D. L. ; Allen, M. / Staff attitudes towards the care of the critically ill in the medical intensive care unit. In: Critical Care Medicine. 1979 ; Vol. 7, No. 2. pp. 35-40.
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