Graduate nurses' knowledge of the functions and limitations of pulse oximetry

Seeley, Marie-Claire, McKenna, Lisa and Hood, Kerry (2015) Graduate nurses' knowledge of the functions and limitations of pulse oximetry. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 24 23-24: 3538-3549. doi:10.1111/jocn.13008

Author Seeley, Marie-Claire
McKenna, Lisa
Hood, Kerry
Title Graduate nurses' knowledge of the functions and limitations of pulse oximetry
Journal name Journal of Clinical Nursing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-2702
Publication date 2015-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/jocn.13008
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 24
Issue 23-24
Start page 3538
End page 3549
Total pages 12
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Aims and objectives. To examine nursing graduates’ knowledge of functions and limitations of pulse oximetry.
Background. Pulse oximetry is a technology ubiquitous in its use in modern clinical settings. Although the technology's ability to accurately reflect hypoxaemia in patients has been established, its contribution to improving patient outcomes is less certain. In addition, experienced nurses have previously demonstrated poor understanding of the limitations of the technology. Pregraduate education has been identified as a potential source of knowledge deficit and has been recommended by authors as an important target of investigation.
Design. Cross-sectional, comparative, multicentre study.
Method. A previously published and validated tool was used with the addition of eight clinical scenario questions which were validated by an expert panel. Convenience sampling was used to select participants to form one cohort of newly graduated nurses (Cohort 1: n = 210) and a second cohort of nurses completing their intensive postgraduate clinical year (Cohort 2: n = 97).
Results. Significant deficits relating to the theoretical factors that affect pulse oximetry application and interpretation were identified. Results suggest some knowledge is negatively correlated with clinical experience and that pregraduate university education appears to influence the ability to effectively apply pulse oximetry knowledge to clinical scenarios.
Conclusions. This study provides insight into pulse oximetry knowledge acquisition and deficits of graduate nurses which may inform pre- and postgraduate nurse education. In particular, it suggests that some pulse oximetry knowledge and clinical application of knowledge is not enhanced by clinical experience but rather is currently gained through pregraduate experiences.
Relevance to clinical practice. Inappropriate utilisation and interpretation of pulse oximetry places patients at risk of mismanagement and undetected deterioration. Improvement in pregraduate education around the appropriate use of pulse oximetry may reduce clinical costs, reduce incidents of failure to rescue and improve patient outcomes.
Keyword Graduate nurse
Graduate year
Novice nurse
Nursing education
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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