Monash University
20170307KerbageThesis_Redacted.pdf (2.28 MB)

Critical Care Nurses' Knowledge and Confidence in Arrhythmia Interpretation

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posted on 2019-08-06, 22:54 authored by Samira Hamadeh Kerbage
Background: Previous studies have revealed a knowledge gap in arrhythmia identification amongst critical care nurses. This deficit may affect their propensity to recognise early signs of patients’ deterioration and have adverse impact on survival. No Australian studies have described critical care nurses’ level of arrhythmia knowledge or how that knowledge affected their confidence.
   Aim: To describe the level of arrhythmia knowledge and confidence demonstrated by critical care nurses.
   Design and Methods: A descriptive quantitative study design was conducted using a two- part self-reporting survey. Part one collected participant demographic data and overall confidence while part two used the Keller Assessment Rating Tool to collect data on participant rhythm interpretation and confidence levels. Non-probability sampling resulted in 32 participants from a single site. Non parametric statistics were used to analyse the data and Spearman’s rho was utilized to examine correlations between variables.
   Results: The majority of participants were females (n=31, 96.9%) with median age of 42 years; (IQR=34-52) with six to ten years of experience (n=15, 46.9%). Poor scores were achieved in interpreting intermediate and advanced ECG strips. A positive monotonic relationship between the ranks of knowledge and confidence was detected. Median knowledge scores increased with years of experience and number of ECGs interpreted per month and decreased with level of ECG difficulty.
   Conclusion: This study identified gaps in participants’ arrhythmia knowledge despite being generally confident in ECG interpretation. Participants identified shockable rhythms accurately but could not recognise other fatal arrhythmias. Further research is required to generalise findings.


Principal supervisor

Kelli Innes

Additional supervisor 1

Ruth Endacott

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Campus location



Master of Nursing

Degree Type



Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences

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