Impact of a one-day inter-professional course (ALERT™) on attitudes and confidence in managing critically ill adult patients

P. Featherstone, G. Smith, Maggie Linnell, Simon Easton, V. Osgood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Anecdotal evidence suggests that anxiety and lack of confidence in managing acutely ill patients adversely affects performance. We evaluated the impact of attending an ALERT™ course on the confidence levels and attitudes of healthcare staff in relation to the recognition and management of acutely ill patients. A questionnaire, which examined knowledge, experience, confidence and teamwork, was distributed to participants prior to commencing an ALERT™ course. One hundred and thirty-one respondents agreed to participate in a follow-up questionnaire 6 weeks after completing the course. Respondents reported significantly more knowledge (pre 5.47 ± 1.69, post 7.37 ± 1.22; p < 0.01) in recognising a critically ill patient after attending an ALERT™ course. Mean scores for respondents’ confidence in their ability to recognise a critically ill patient (pre 6.04; post 7.71; t = 11.74; p < 0.01), keep such a patient alive (pre 5.70; post 7.30; t = 10.01; p < 0.01) and remember all the life-saving measures (pre 5.60; post 7.32; t = 11.71; p < 0.01) were increased. Fewer respondents were very worried about being responsible for a critically ill patient (pre 13; post 2; χ2 = 8.55; p < 0.003). There was a significant increase in the number of respondents indicating that they would use a system of assessment for acute illness (pre 23; post 37; χ2 = 4.25; p = 0.035). More staff said that they would approach a registrar or a consultant for help (χ2 = 3.29, n = 131, p < 0.05; χ2 = 7.51, n = 131, p < 0.01). There was a significant improvement in attendees’ confidence in working in an interdisciplinary team when caring for critically ill patients (pre 40.66; post 42.91; t = 2.32; p = 0.05). We conclude that attending an ALERT™ course has beneficial effects on the confidence levels and attitudes of healthcare staff in relation to the recognition and management of acutely ill patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-336
Number of pages8
JournalResuscitation
Volume65
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005

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