Evidence and Practice
Why you should read this article: • To refresh your knowledge of the history of, and rationale for, critical care outreach teams • To increase your awareness of the evidence on the effects of critical care outreach teams • To read about educational sessions provided by a critical care outreach team in an acute NHS trust Critical care outreach teams were developed in the UK from the early 2000s onwards in response to evidence that the management of severely ill patients on hospital wards before admission to the intensive care unit was frequently suboptimal. Most hospitals in the UK have some form of CCOT, which is usually composed of senior nurses with extensive critical care experience. One of the goals of CCOTs is to provide educational support to staff to enhance their skills at recognising and managing deteriorating patients. However, the evidence regarding the effects of CCOTs is conflicting. This article describes a service evaluation conducted at an acute NHS trust in England to assess the effects of educational sessions designed and delivered by the local CCOT. The CCOT offered a study day on non-invasive ventilation for patients with type 2 respiratory failure to a group of ten nurses from different clinical areas. A pre-and post-study day questionnaire showed that all participants had increased knowledge levels at the end of the study day. If positive effects of CCOT-led study days on nurses’ knowledge were consistently demonstrated, these study days could be considered as a practical and effective method of meeting the learning needs of nurses.
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