Alarm Fatigue in Nursing Essay Example

It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that a sphere of healthcare and nursing requires a significant attentiveness regarding patients and related operations. Still, human errors cannot be fully avoided. Hence, such phenomenon as alarm fatigue may occur in many fields of human activity, especially in the sphere of healthcare. Needless to say, reaction on various alarming signals is an average activity for healthcare workers, but there is the most threatening implication. In fact, constant and frequent reaction on alarms makes a human-being less sensitive to them. Thus, such problem requires an adequate addressing. Alarm fatigue is caused by a wide range of factors so that there is no distinct methodology concerning the issue. That is why a middle range theory is suggested for methodological basis for dealing with alarm fatigue as long as it integrates theoretical knowledge and empirical evidence. Taking such point into account, the following paper focuses on the discussion of middle range theory appliance to a case of alarm fatigue in nursing.

The Dangers of Alarm Fatigue

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To speak about the problem, it should be admitted that it is a so-called phenomenon named alarm fatigue. The phenomenon can be described as a loss of sensitivity to alarms, threats and any other warning signals due to a frequent and regular perception of them. Contextualizing the problem in terms of nursing, it is to be said that the problem is mainly connected to the healthcare personnel. Nurses and other staff become adjusted to their workplace environment to the extent that they start paying less attention to changes in patients’ state, their complaints, data demonstrated by measurements and medical equipment, special requirements to the patients’ condition, etc. It can be explained by the fact that healthcare staff members face such aspects on a day-to-day basis. Psychologically, such irritators become less influential, since the personnel members have acquired them as usual events in their daily routines. As a result, a loss of sensitivity may lead to worsening of the patients’ state. Moreover, it will be difficult to restore the same sensitivity again because it will be a conscious focus on a certain aspect. Consequently, the problem has to be addressed and it is suggested to apply a middle range theory to it.

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It is necessary to be explicit about what is meant by the term of middle range theory. Current theory is based on the integration of theoretical knowledge and empirical evidence so that a related activity addresses real cause of the problem. It is not tied to any certain framework but creates orienting statements, which are utilized as the basis for the further empirical activity. Applying middle range theory to the case means its implementation in a form of theory of meaning. Such nursing theory suggests that a patient has to understand meaning of his or her treatment in order to feel motivated and positive regarding recovery (Liehr & Smith, 2014). The case of alarm fatigue, however, presupposes appliance of the theory directly to a nurse or any other representative of healthcare personnel. Such individual has to be careful about patients’ state, their complaints and all data related to the patients in order to react immediately in case any emergency occurs. The conviction relates to the professional duties of the individual. In case he or she fails, a threat to lose the job can emerge. Employment is commonly associated with personal well-being so that the individual will be as careful as possible. One may argue that it is cynical to address alarm fatigue from that point of view, but consideration of personal well-being is one of the primary human instincts, to which the theory of meaning can be applied.

The choice of middle range theory can be explained by the fact that it addresses not only a distinct sphere of human activity by considers the related fields and disciplines. The theory has its origin in sociology. Robert K. Merton was attempting to integrate social theories of conflict and functionalism. As a result, middle range theory places a subject at medium range towards every single aspect of human activity and knowledge. In other words, a problem is focused on consideration of the entire variety of perspectives. Therefore, such approach allows healthcare personnel to base any professional theories with consideration of non-healthcare factors. In such way, the theory addresses practice and is applicable to the entire discipline of healthcare and nursing, since every single case can be regarded as unique. What is more, alarm fatigue is a common problem among healthcare staff members so that appliance of middle range theory can contribute much to the nursing practice, especially in regard to the fact that nursing and social theories are mutually connected.

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With regard to the previous evidence of appliance the theory to nursing, it was generally applied in terms of meaning theory. However, it was directed towards patients in cases of loss intention, motivation and carefulness concerning the treatment. As a consequence, absence of communication with nurses and other staff members could be observed in such sort of cases. It led to the complications concerning treatment and worsening of the patients’ state. Thus, middle range theory suggested strategies of conviction a particular patient to cooperate with healthcare staff. The theory considered personalities of the patients as long as the majority of deviations from treatment course are caused by traits of character or psychological condition of a patient. Middle range theory helped create basis for motivation and cooperation of a patient. Further, his or her participation in personal treatment was highly appreciated by healthcare staff. It is a crucial point, since a patient should feel his or her contribution regarding the treatment.

As long as middle range theory is applied to the exact representative of healthcare personnel, it should be admitted that such individual motivated himself by the previously outlined sequence of statements regarding professional obligation and consideration of personal well-being via obtaining a job position at a healthcare organization. As a result, the individual paid attention to all evidences, which can be related to his patients. In such way, a possibility of developing alarm fatigue was definitely low. It can be explained by the fact that the individual kept all evidences and data recorded. Moreover, statistical data was compared to previous recordings. In consequence, potential development of tendencies was also forecasted (Liehr & Smith, 2014). Conversely, the addressing of alarm fatigue does not mean excessive anxiety concerning missing signals of threat. It is important not to demonstrate any anxiety in presence of a patient in order to avoid psychological traumas.

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Consequently, current paper has touched upon the discussion of appliance middle range theory to the problem of alarm fatigue. Alarm fatigue is a phenomenon, which is based on the loss of sensitivity to alarms, signals and any other important events due to their frequent and regular perception. Alarm fatigue occurs in healthcare quite often so that it requires an appropriate addressing. In consequence, middle range theory has been suggested in terms of nursing theory of meaning. Such complex has been suggested for motivation of healthcare staff representative in order to be careful regarding the patients’ state, complaints and any other related data. The motivation has been formulated on the basis of professional duty obligations and considerations of personal well-being.

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