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The role of the intensive care nurse in the medical emergency team: A constructivist grounded theory study


Weatherburn, C and Greenwood, M, The role of the intensive care nurse in the medical emergency team: A constructivist grounded theory study, Australian Critical Care, 36 pp. 119-126. ISSN 1036-7314 (2023) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.aucc.2022.12.003


Background:Intensive care nurses are essential members of rapid response systems (RRSs) with little qualitative data available to capture what intensive care nurses do as they navigate their way around the complexity of a medical emergency call.

Objective: The study aims to describe and explain the role of the intensive care nurse within the medical emergency team (MET) of a tertiary-level hospital to develop an understanding of the intensive care nurse role, the way it is enacted, and their responsibilities within the team.

Method: A constructivist grounded theory research approach collected qualitative data from intensive care nurses who had experience attending MET calls. Data were collected through participant observation (16 MET calls), followed by 12 semistructured interviews.

Findings: A substantive theory was developed that 'keeping patient's safe' is a fundamental role of the intensive care nurse within the MET. This is derived from four key concepts: Systematic framework for decision making, Figuring it out, Directing care, and Patient safety. Each of these concepts was developed from categories that describe the role of the intensive care unit nurse on the MET. They include performing assessments and interventions, figuring it out, critical thinking, prioritising care, directing care, being supportive, and ensuring patient safety.

Conclusion: This study provides new insights into and an understanding of the ways intensive care nurses work within the MET, making a significant contribution to our existing understanding of the role.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:clinical decision making, intensive care nurse, medical emergency team, rapid response system, constructivist grounded theory
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Acute care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Inpatient hospital care
UTAS Author:Greenwood, M (Associate Professor Melanie Greenwood)
ID Code:155041
Year Published:2023
Deposited By:Nursing
Deposited On:2023-01-24
Last Modified:2023-01-24

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