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Evaluation of pulse oximetry knowledge of nurses employed in anesthesiology departments

Panagiotis Kiekkas, Floralmpa Tseko, Adelaida Alimuci, Nikolaos Stefanopoulos, Maria Papadimitriou, Maria Karga, Evangelos Konstantinou

Saturday, September 1, 2012

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Pages: 94-102


Introduction: Pulse oximetry has been widely used for timely detecting hypoxemia. However, international studies have reported important knowledge deficits among peronnel,associated with its function and limitations, which may adversely affect patient safety.

Aim: To evaluate pulse oximetry knowledge of nursing personnel employed in the anesthesiology department.

Material – methods: A 21-item, true/false questionnaire was developed, which was evaluated for content-related validity and reliability. All nurses employed in the anesthesiology department of five hospitals were asked to participate. Correct responses were summed to calculate pulse oximetry knowledge score of each participant. SPSS 17.0 was used for statistical analysis of data. 

Results: 53 questionnaires were completed in total (response rate 80.3%). Mean pulse oximetry knowledge score was 12.7+3.6, without detecting significant differences according to demographics. Percentage of correct responses did not exceed 50% for 8 questionnaire items, 6 of which covered principles of pulse oximetry function. 

Conclusions: Pulse oximetry knowledge of anesthesiology department nurses is similar to that reported by respective international studies and is mainly based on experience. Identification of knowledge deficits is considered of primary importance, and these were mainly associated with principles of pulse oximetry function. Implementation of continuing education programs is expected to contribute to the promotion of knowledge not obtained through experience, as well as to knowledge utilization for developing clinical skills.

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