Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Assessing advanced life support (ALS) competence: Victorian practices.
Epworth Authors: Preston, Julie
Other Authors: Eastwood, Glenn
Currey, Judy
Keywords: Assessment
Intensive Care Units
Advanced Life Support
Resuscitation Guidelines
Cardiac Arrest
Nurse Educators
Epworth HealthCare, Australia
Issue Date: Nov-2009
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Aust Crit Care. 2009 Nov;22(4):164-71
Abstract: Advanced life support (ALS) assessments are performed to assess nurses' abilities to recognize cardiac arrest events, and appropriately manage patients according to resuscitation guidelines. Although there is evidence for conducting assessments after initial ALS education, there is little evidence to guide educators about ongoing assessments in terms of methods, format and frequency. The aim of this study was to determine methods used by educators to assess ALS skills and knowledge for nurses in Victorian intensive care units. This descriptive study used telephone interviews to collect data. Data were analysed using content analysis. Twenty intensive care educators participated in this study. Thirteen educators (65%) were employed in public hospitals, and 7 educators (35%) worked in private hospitals across 12 Level 3 (60%) and 8 Level 2 (40%) intensive care units. Results showed all educators used scenarios to assess ALS skills, with 12 educators (60%) including an additional theoretical test. There was variability in ALS assessment frequency, assessment timing in relation to initial/ongoing education, person performing the assessment, and the assessor/participant ratio. Nineteen educators (95%) reported ALS skill competency assessments occurred annually; 1 educator (5%) reported assessments occurred every 2 years. Assessments were conducted during a designated month (n=10), numerous times throughout the year (n=8), or on nurses' employment anniversaries (n=2). All educators reported many nurses avoided undertaking assessments. Variability in ongoing ALS assessment methods was evident in Victorian intensive care units with some units applying evidence-based practices. Consideration should be given to the purposes and methods of conducting annual ALS assessments to ensure resources and strategies are directed appropriately. To encourage nurses to retain ALS skills and knowledge, regular practices are recommended as an alternative to assessments. However, further research is required to support this notion.
DOI: 10.1016/j.aucc.2009.05.002
PubMed URL:
ISSN: 1036-7314
Journal Title: Australian Critical Care
Type: Journal Article
Affiliated Organisations: Alfred/Deakin Nursing Research Centre, The Alfred Hospital and Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia
Intensive Care Unit, Austin Hospital, Level 2 Austin Tower, Studley Road, Heidelberg, Victoria 3084, Australia
Type of Clinical Study or Trial: Descriptive Study
Appears in Collections:Cardiac Sciences
Critical Care

Files in This Item:
There are no files associated with this item.

Items in Epworth are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.