A Cross Sectional Survey of Nurses’ Responses to Vital Sign Values in a University Teaching Hospital

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJMD.2013.07.01.Art005

Authors : Akanbi, Olusola Olateju, Olakulehin, Olawale Adebayo, Onilede, David Adekunle, Adeoti, Moses Layiwola, Akinloye Tayewo Adebisi, Olanipekun Olusegun Olaolu


Background: Studies have shown that there were documented evidences of abnormal vital signs, without appropriate clinicians and nurses responses. We thus investigate the knowledge, and how nurses intend to respond to different combinations of vital signs values.

Methods: This study was carried out in Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital Ogbomoso. Questionnaires were sent out to nurses to obtain relevant data regarding interpretation of vital sign values.

Results: Eighty questionnaires were analysed. The mean age of the respondents was 36.4 (±5.27) years. Nineteen (23.75%) respondents got correctly the normal range for all the vital signs and oxygen saturation. Seven (8.75%) respondents knew that pulse rate is the earliest vital sign to change in most deteriorating patients. Fifty-nine (73.75%) respondents considered oxygen saturation as reliable indicator of respiratory functions. Most respondents (78.73%) would not consider oxygen support until saturation fall below 90%. Seventy-five (93.75%) respondents could not identify correctly patients at risk of deterioration based on different combinations of set of vital sign values, SpO2 and level of consciousness. Sixty-seven (83.75%) rated themselves to have good to excellent knowledge on vital signs and its interpretation, however, only 9 (11.25%) respondents have good comprehensive knowledge on interpretation of vital signs.

Conclusion: Majority of the respondents could not interpret vital sign values correctly. We suggest need for continuous nursing education to bridge this gap.

Keywords: Vital signs, interpretation, nurses, and responses.


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