Fourie A, Karlberg-Traav M, Dahlberg K, Hanssens V, Smet S, Jaensson M, Beeckman D
Nurse Educ Today 128 (-) 105860 [2023-09-00; online 2023-06-07]
During the coronavirus pandemic (COVID -19), the use of prone positioning in critically ill patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) increased substantially. As a result, clinicians had to (re)learn how to treat the patient in the prone position while preventing adverse events such as pressure ulcers, skin tears and moisture-associated skin damage. The purpose of the study was to determine participants' learning needs related to patients in the prone position and the prevention of skin damage, such as pressure ulcers, and what they perceived as a positive or negative learning experience. This study used a qualitative methodological framework and employed an exploratory design. A purposive sample of clinicians (n = 20) with direct or indirect work experience with prone ventilated patients was recruited in Belgium and Sweden. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted in Belgium and Sweden between February and August 2022. Data were analysed thematically using an inductive approach. The COREQ guideline was utilised to comprehensively report on the study. Two themes were identified: 'Adapting to a crisis' and 'How to learn', with the latter having two subthemes: 'balancing theory and practice' and 'co-creating knowledge'. Unexpected circumstances necessitated a personal adaption, a change in learning methods and a pragmatic adaptation of protocols, equipment and working procedures. Participants recognised a multifaceted educational approach which would contribute to a positive learning experience regarding prone positioning and skin damage prevention. The importance of poising theoretical teaching with practical hands-on training was highlighted with an emphasis on interaction, discussion, and networking between peers. The study findings highlight learning approaches which may help inform the development of befitting educational resources for clinicians. Prone therapy for ARDS patients is not limited to the pandemic. Therefore, educational efforts should continue to ensure patient safety in this important area.