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Continuity of care essential in mechanical ventilation weaning

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Ethnographic study carried out at Nottingham University Hospitals has concluded that continuity of care and expertise are essential in weaning from mechanical ventilation

The researchers found that continuity of care and expertise were essential components in nurses knowing patients who were weaning from mechanical ventilations.  Knowing the patient was found to be important in making decisions and taking actions for successful weaning. It allowed the nurse to understand the patients motivation, personal preferences, styles of coping and identify what strategies were likely to be effective.

The authors recommend systems of care that encourage continuity of care and suggest that nurses need to understand the psychological aspects of weaning. They question an over reliance on weaning protocol and which then to focus on the physiological reponse of the patient and over simplify the weaning process.

Nursing in Critical Care (2009); 14:6, 289-296

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