Decision-making in acute care nursing with deteriorating patients

  • Sally Ann Smith

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Concerns have been well documented about deteriorating patients being missed and that care has not been of a sufficient standard to maintain their safety. This ‘failure to rescue’ remains despite changes in training and critical care experts working with ward staff. Little is known about what influences decision-making at the point a patient deteriorates and prior to referring on to an expert. The aim of this study was to understand how nurses reach their clinical decisions while caring for a deteriorating patient and to identify the contextual factors that influence that decision-making process. Using grounded theory methodology the study comprised fieldwork, semi-structured interviews and a focus group; participants were 22 nurses and 2 physiotherapists working in general medical and surgical wards.
Date of AwardOct 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton

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