Liaison Nurse Role Development: Intensive Care Unit Discharged Patients Follow up During the First Year of an Acute Care Facility

Tuesday, 31 July 2012: 1:55 PM

Laura Alberto, RN, BN, Education Specialist
Haydee Zotárez, RN
Angel Cañete, RN, BN
José Emilio Baca Niklas, RN, BN
María del Carmen Martínez, RN, BN, Health Administration Specialist
Nursing Department, Sanatorio Sagrado Corazón, Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Learning Objective 1: To understand the liaison nurses role developed during the first year of an acute care facility in Argentina.

Learning Objective 2: To identify the most common interventions that liaison nurses perform as part of the role.

Purpose: To describe liaison nurses (LN) interventions of care provided to intensive care unit (ICU) discharged patients (pts), To identify LN education interventions delivered to ward nursing (WN) staff that was caring for ICU discharged patients and ward patients needing complex care.

Methods: Two frameworks of intervention for ICU LN were defined, direct care (DC) and ward staff assistance and education. Experienced adult critical care nurses, with strong communication and education skills were appointed as ICU LNs. LNs were asked to: a) assess and provide complex care to ward patients transferred from ICU once per shift and, b) provide education to ward nurses. A LN was always available. LNs registered every intervention they performed with patients and ward nursing staff. The LNs ended follow up based on their clinical criteria and ward nurses confidence on care. Documented LNs interventions where then grouped in categories and sub-categories according to frameworks previously determined.

 Results: 387pts were included in follow up; 47,9yo average age (15-89); 369pts (95,35%) discharged from ICU and 18(4,66%) ward pts that needed complex care. 34(9,21%)pts were readmitted in ICU during the same hospitalization period. During the study period LNs performed 5973 intervention of DC and 1709 education interventions. DC included: patient assessment (86,25%), patient and family education and support (3,56%), patient safety (2,66%), airway management (2,57%), others (4,9%). Staff education comprised teaching: patient safety (32,65%), patient assessment (20,36%), airway management (16,61%), drainage and tubes management (5,9%), wound care (4,09%), vascular devices management (3,92%), fluid control (3,21%), care planning (2,86%), patient and family education (1,57%), others (8,77%).

 Conclusion: Nursing assessment and patient and family support are the most common intervention of ICU LNs. LNs facilitate ICU-ward transition providing expert care, assisting and educating ward nurses. 

Acknowledgements: Authors express their gratitude to Professor Wendy Chaboyer (Australia) and Dr Carlos Díaz (Argentina).