July 13, 2018 – Nurses and Surrogates


Anchor lead: Can nurses help surrogate decision makers for people in the intensive care unit? Elizabeth Tracey reports

People who are making medical decisions for loved ones in the intensive care unit are called surrogates, and their task can be daunting. A new study looked at whether specially trained nurses could ease the burden of depression and anxiety of surrogates. Patricia Davidson, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, describes the results.

Davidson: The intervention didn’t impact on psychosocial distress but it did improve decision making, or the satisfaction with decision making and also of great interest it decreased the stay in the ICU by nearly two days. I think what the PARTNER study shows is that these are complex interventions. So as well as the nurse who’s being trained in communication and facilitating the discussion, also noted that they actually had a change management consultant who was trying to make sure that these crucial conversations were instilled in the business processes of the ICU.  :35

Davidson applauds efforts by nurses and administrators to ease suffering of both patients in the ICU and their loved ones. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.