To explore how concept analysis is constructed, choose the concept article above. Use that article to complete the Concept Analysis Article Review questions in your own words
Answer the following questions using the article Alarm fatigue to explore how concept analysis is constructed. Using the information from the article, in your own words, answer each question below.
- What was the purpose of the analysis?
- What were the uses of the concept the author identified?
- What were the defining attributes?
- Give an example of the model case and one other case.
- What were the antecedents and consequences of this concept?
- What were the empirical referents identified?
- What was the conclusion of this author?
Purpose of the Analysis
The objective of the analysis was to provide a familiar and clear understanding of the alarm fatigue concept to help in the development of policies and strategies that can be used to mitigate the multidimensional aspect of the alarm fatigue issue that affects nursing practice. The primary goal of the analysis was to provide a clear meaning of the alarm fatigue concept so as to contribute to its use in nursing settings and nursing research.
Uses of the Concept Identified By the Author
The author identifies numerous uses of the concept of alarm fatigue. Alarm fatigue is therefore used to describe the lack of response among health caregivers to alarms as a result of exposure to numerous alarms which can result in sensory overload and desensitization. West, Abott, & Probst (2014), also identify the use of the term alarm fatigue to describe caregivers becoming overwhelmed as they try to respond to numerous alarms in care settings such that they become desensitized and more prone to missing alarms or delaying responses which can place patients at risk. The authors also identify the use of the term alarm fatigue to describe nurses becoming numb to alarm sounds after being over exposed, which may cause slower response times. Finally, West et al. (2014) identify the use of the term alarm fatigue to describe caregivers becoming overwhelmed with numerous alarms from significant and critical occurrences in healthcare settings which may cause such caregivers to ignore or miss some alarms.
The defining attributes of a concept include the characteristics of the concepts that will frequently appear in literature and will be associated more often with the concept. The defining attributes of alarm fatigue concept include a lessened interest and motivation in surroundings, a reduced capacity for mental and physical work, and an environment with repeated and excessive situations.
A model case of alarm fatigue is a school nurse who works in a local elementary school that has nearly 500 children, with the nurse seeing an average of 35 children regularly in a short 90 minute lunch period. Over a 90-minute period, the school nurse is therefore required to provide first aid management services and general medication administration. This makes it hard for the school nurse to concentrate on completing daily demands for care for the children. The nurse is therefore forced to ignore some of the students that visit her. Another case of alarm fatigue is in a medical unit that has been stretched to capacity because of a flu outbreak in the community. The nursing staff in the Medical Unit have been working for many extra shifts to cover the escalating incidents of flu in their community. The staff is therefore fatigued due to the high demand they have experienced in the past month.
Antecedents and Consequences
The antecedents of alarm fatigue included a patient care environment that has excessive stimuli, involvement of healthcare professionals, and the ability to evaluate feelings of both caregivers and patients subjectively. On the other hand, the consequences of alarm fatigue were a lessened capacity of healthcare practitioners to respond normally to a signal, a diminished view of the alarm signal being clinically significant, and finally, the missing or ignoring of a significant clinical event that can result in potentially risky patient situations.
The empirical referents identified for the concept of alarm fatigue included alarm identification and audibility, to many alarms and effects on patients and staff, alarm settings, nurse’s view of alarms, and nurse’s response to alarms.
West et al. (2014) conclude that health care practitioners need to clearly understand the concept of alarm fatigue so as to contribute to improving the healthcare work environment and patient outcomes and also advance future research related to medical alarm technology.