How does the age of patients influence nurses’ decision making during an episode of acute deterioration?
Background: Older people are entitled to a high standard of quality person-centred care. Reasons for impaired decision making during acute deterioration may be, noncompliance and inadequate escalation of National Early Warning Score (NEWS), lack of knowledge of who is making the decision and the factors that can affect this. Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) and the misunderstanding of this policy. Personal attitudes and stigma towards older people can also affect decision making. All these factors can affect the way in which decisions are made during an episode of acute deterioration for older people. Aims: 1. To investigate clinical decision making in nurses during an episode of acute deterioration of older people. 2. To establish nurses’ understanding of policy on escalation of care during acute deterioration in older people. 3. To explore nurses’ values and attitudes towards treating older people compared to those who are younger. Methods: Using a descriptive exploratory methodology, the aims will be investigated using semi-structured interviews. These will consist of giving 5 registered nurses and 5 student nurses two vignettes and allowing them to discuss what they would do. Interviews will be audio recorded and transcribed for thematic analysis. Conclusion: Further education is recommended to enhance awareness and improve practice for nurses’ decision making during acute deterioration in older people. This would include education on local NEWS and DNACPR policy and gerontology education.