Australian registered nurse medical device education: a comparison of life-sustaining and non-life-sustaining devices


  • Edwina A McConnell RN PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Visiting Professor, University of South Australia, School of Nursing, City Campus, Adelaide, Australia, and Professor, Texas Tech University, Health Sciences Center, School of Nursing, Lubbock, Texas, USA
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  • Jan Fletcher RN BS FRCNA

    1. Nurse Advisor, Nurses Board of South Australia, North Adelaide, Australia
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Dr E A McConnell 1509 Martin Street, Martin Wisconsin 53713, USA.


Registered nurses are primarily responsible for the use of medical devices in direct patient care This cross-sectional survey compared how and what 139 registered nurses working in a variety of wards/units in a 1000-bed tertiary care hospital in South Australia initially learned about the life-sustaining and non-life-sustaining medical devices they use Furthermore, the consequences of device use both for patients and staff were explored How and what registered nurses initially learned about life-sustaining and non-life-sustaining devices were remarkably similar Consequences of device use, which included increased or decreased quality of care, increased nurse stress and patient harm, were related, in part, to knowledgeable and proficient device use Thus, device education for nurses is essential and warrants further exploration