Background: Fluid and electrolyte disturbances are the most frequently reported problems in intensive care units (ICUs). These disturbances are associated with high morbidity and mortality rate among critically ill patients. Early detection and management of fluid and electrolyte imbalance can improve patients' outcome, decrease the length of intensive care stay and reduce the cost of health care services.
Purpose: To develop nursing standard for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance for critically ill patients in ICUs of Mansoura University Emergency Hospital.
Method: The study has a descriptive exploratory design. The study included a convenience sample of 40 critical care nurses who were involved in providing direct care for critically ill patients in the study setting. Additionally, 15 experts from the field of critical care were recruited in the study to evaluate the validity of data collection tools.
Results: The majority of the studied nurses had got somewhat a satisfactory practice level for fluid and electrolyte assessment and management in the study setting. No significant correlation was found between nurses' practices scores and their socio demographic characteristics. Most items of the proposed nursing standard for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance for critically ill patients were agreed upon by the expert group.
Conclusion: Nursing practice for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance for critically ill patient in the studied setting was somewhat acceptable. The developed nursing standard can be used as a base for enhancing nursing practice and consequently improve patient outcome. Further research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the developed nursing standard in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance for critically ill patients in ICUs.
Mona Abdel Ghany Leilah, Nahed Attia Kandeel, Amany Mohamed Shebl and Hend Elsayed Mansour