AACN Consensus Statement Addresses Evolution of Remote Critical Care Nursing Practice

Newswise – The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has released an update to its Reference Standards for Tele-Critical Nursing Practice, offering specific recommendations for the development and improvement of tele-critical nursing programs. telecritical care.

In 2013, the AACN published the first authoritative document to define practice guidelines specifically for the emerging practice of telenursing in critical care. The recently released document, “AACN Tele-critical Care Nursing Practice: An Expert Consensus Statement Supporting Acute, Progressive and Critical Care, 2022”, addresses the changes and provides up-to-date findings in this growing healthcare field.

The consensus statement reflects current evidence, best practices, and expert opinions from the AACN’s nine-person Telecritical Care Task Force. First convened in 2010 and again in 2017, the working group met throughout 2021 to review and update the previous document. In addition to the working group, a diverse group of remote critical care clinicians reviewed the document and provided additional information.

The updated document highlights how the contributions of nurses in telecritical care have expanded to encompass additional risk assessments, interventions and patient safety measures.

During the pandemic, remote critical care nurses also helped address the loss of experienced nurses from the onsite team, leaving a knowledge gap. Their work may include mentoring on-site nurses, facilitating the ongoing development of new nurses, and supporting excellent nursing care.

The initiative brought together telecritical care nursing leaders from diverse backgrounds to share their expertise and dynamic front-line perspectives, resulting in a comprehensive, patient-centered update.

The task force was led by Theresa Davis, PhD, RN, NE-BC, CHTP, FAAN, and Lisa-Mae Williams, PhD, RN, CCRN-K, two national leaders in telecritical nursing. Davis is associate vice president of the High Reliability Center for Inova Health System, Falls Church, Virginia, and is chair-elect of the AACN National Board of Directors. Williams is Director of Operations, Telehealth Center, Telecritical Care and Virtual Sepsis Unit at Baptist Health South Florida, Coral Gables.

“Telecritical care programs have become more prevalent with advances in technology and the expansion of modalities and number of patients served,” Davis said. “We have seen significant growth in the number of remote critical care services, including expansion beyond traditional critical care areas, including to medical-surgical units and even home care facilities. This paper offers a broader definition of the term ‘teleICU’ to reflect how these nurses contribute to care beyond the intensive care units.”

“In addition to caring for patients, tele-intensive care nurses help bridge the experience gap by providing an extra layer of support and expertise to the team on site,” Williams said. “Knowledge and expertise are valuable assets, especially when caring for critically ill patients. The mentorship of a novice nurse, float nurse or traveling nurse can inspire a more great sense of trust, while peer-to-peer collaboration can help on-site colleagues feel more supported.”

The consensus statement’s practice recommendations include essentials for telecritical care nurses and nurse leaders, and their healthcare organizations.

The document includes clinical scenarios with real-life examples of how clinicians have implemented each key recommendation in various environments, including natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic.

A heightened focus on the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion has been integrated throughout the document, beginning with its first recommendation and continuing through the practice model and clinical vignettes.

The statement includes the AACN Tele-Critical Care Nursing Practice Model, which provides the conceptual framework for implementing and evaluating tele-critical care nursing practice.

The 41-page consensus statement can be downloaded for free from the AACN website. A printed version of the booklet is also available for purchase from the AACN online store.

The AACN offers CCRN-E specialty certification to nurses who primarily provide acute or critical care to adult patients in a telecritical care setting.

About the American Association of Critical Care Nurses: For more than 50 years, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has been dedicated to excellence in acute and critical care nursing. The vision of the organization is to create a healthcare system centered on the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. The AACN is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world, with approximately 130,000 members and more than 200 chapters in the United States.

American Association of Critical Care Nurses, 27071 Aliso Creek Road, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656; 949-362-2000; www.aacn.org; facebook.com/aacnface; twitter.com/aacnme

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