Pilot Evaluation of the Knowledge of Emergency and Intensive Care Nurses about Pregnant Trauma Patient Management

Introduction: The care of the pregnant trauma patient requires specialized nursing knowledge and skills in both the emergency department (ED) and the intensive care unit (ICU). Aim: To evaluate the knowledge of ED and ICU nurses about management of the pregnant trauma patient. Method: A study employing a descriptive, cross-sectional and correlational design was conducted. The sample consisted of 73 nurses working in 9 ICUs and 8 EDs in 7 general hospitals in Attica which included gynaecology and obstetrics among their specialties. A 75-item questionnaire was created on which validity assessment was made by an expert group, after which this pilot study was carried out. Mean scores (±SD) were estimated per section and for the entire questionnaire. Internal consistency reliability analysis (Cronbach’s α), parametric and non-parametric correlation analysis and descriptive statistics were carried out using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), version 17.0. Results: Cronbach’s α was 0.954 for the entire questionnaire. The profile of the participants was: age 33.79 (±7.6) years, gender 78.1% women, 21.9% university background, 60.3% technological background, 17.8% nursing assistant, 28.8% worked in an ED and 69.9% in an ICU, 53.6% participated in continuing education programs and 8.2% had attended seminars. The participants appeared to be better informed about the care provided in the ED (7.22±3.2) and the ICU (4.96±1.9), and about abruptio placentae (2.6±1.3) and indications for emergency delivery (4.45±2.2). The nurses were less well informed about drug management (1.15±1), fetal care (1.7±1.5) and laboratory and diagnostic tests (2.49±1.2). Nurses with a university background scored higher (F=3.6, p=0.032) on the entire questionnaire and in some specific sections. ED nurses scored higher on ED care (x2=7.8, p=0.02) and fetal care (x2=12.6, p=0.002). Those who had attended seminars (t=2.42, p=0.018), continuing education programmes (t=2.31, p=0.029) or possessed a master degree (t=2.83, p=0.006), were better informed generally. Conclusions: The level of knowledge of ED and ICU nurses in relation to the care of pregnant trauma patients was related to their educational background and clinical placement but was, in general, insufficient. The validity of the questionnaire designed for the study requires further investigation.