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Quality of practice in an intensive care unit (ICU): A mini-ethnographic case study

Storesund, A. and McMurray, A. (2009) Quality of practice in an intensive care unit (ICU): A mini-ethnographic case study. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, 25 (3). pp. 120-127.

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Background: Nurses' perspectives of maintaining quality practice is important in the context of today's safety and quality agenda. This study provides a snapshot of registered nurses' perspectives on practice quality in one Australian ICU. Methods: A mini-ethnographic case study examined how quality is embedded in the culture of ICU nursing. Semi-structured interviews of 10 informants were analysed using Spradley's (Spradley JP. The ethnographic interview. Sydney: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.;1979) ethnographic guidelines. Findings: Three major themes influenced nursing quality: maintaining cohesiveness in a complex and stressful environment; rapid, effective and respectful communication; and specialist knowledge gained through experience and formal learning. Conclusion: The nurses reported satisfaction with the quality of their ICU practice, but revealed factors that could diminish quality and contribute to job dissatisfaction. Given current recruitment and retention issues and the link between satisfaction and retention, it is important to consider this these factors in advancing the knowledge base for workforce planning.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Nursing & Midwifery
Publisher: Churchill Livingstone
Copyright: © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.
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