Differential antibiotic dosing in critical care : survey on nurses' knowledge, perceptions and experience

Fawaz, Sarah, Barton, Stephen, Whitney, Laura and Nabhani-Gebara, Shereen (2020) Differential antibiotic dosing in critical care : survey on nurses' knowledge, perceptions and experience. JAC-Antimicrobial Resistance, 2(4), dlaa083. ISSN (online) 2632-1823


Background With the discovery of new antibiotics diminishing, optimizing the administration of existing antibiotics has become a necessity. Critical care nurses play a crucial role in combating antimicrobial resistance and are involved in preparing and administering antibiotics as well as monitoring their effects on patients. A dosing strategy proposed to reduce the development of ever-evolving antimicrobial resistance involves differential dosing regimens such as prolonged/continuous infusions. Objectives To assess critical care nurses’ knowledge, perceptions, comfort and experience in relation to prolonged/continuous infusion antibiotics. Methods A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted using an investigator-developed, self-administered survey consisting of open- and closed-ended questions. Obtained data were computed using SPSS. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data. Results Fifty-two critical care nurses participated in the survey. Data revealed that nurses have adequate levels of knowledge and comfort relating to the use of prolonged/continuous infusion antibiotics along with the ability to communicate effectively on the topic. Results indicate there is a need for further learning, especially in terms of multiplicity of methods for preparing and administering prolonged/continuous infusions and dose calculations. Overall, results are promising as nurses support the wider implementation of prolonged/continuous infusion treatment regimens in critical care. Conclusion Although critical care nurses had a good understanding surrounding the use of prolonged/continuous infusion antibiotics, there is a need for further learning beyond information gained from nursing education courses. Findings from this study indicate that nurses are supportive of prolonged/continuous infusion antibiotics. However, further research is needed to determine the most effective mode of antibiotic administration.

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