The Effect of a “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) Status on Patient Care: A Descriptive Survey on the Perceptions of ICU and Medical/Surgical Nurses
Keywords:Do not resuscitate, DNR, nurses' perceptions, resuscitation orders
Background: Nursing research literature demonstrates a persistent concern regarding how nurses interpret “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) code status.
Aim: The aim of this study was to assess nurses’ perceptions of the effect of a DNR code status on patient care.
Methods: This study was a cross-sectional, descriptive survey offered to all clinical nurses in the Medical, Surgical, Telemetry, Critical Care, and Emergency Departments within one urban community hospital in Southern California, USA. Descriptive statistics were used for demographic data and individual question analysis, which included frequency and percentages for categorical variables in addition to means with standard deviation for continuous data. Open- ended questions received content analysis.
Results: This study resulted in a convenience sample of 120 registered nurses (RNs). Greater than 95% of nurses who completed the survey agreed that nursing care should continue until patient death. Yet when asked about physiologic, demographic, chronic, or cognitive status, participants answered with varying degrees of certainty about the care that should be provided.
Conclusions: Further research is needed to explore the inconsistency in nurses’ understanding of the care provided to a patient with DNR status. There may be opportunities to improve consistency in practice with education or protocols to outline optimal care of a patient with DNR orders.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Joria Rainbolt Clemente, Patrick Hess, DNP, RN-BC, CEN , Cyr Oca, BSN, RN , Mary Raphael, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, CNML , Regina M. Valdez, MA, Felicia Cohn, PhD, HEC-C, June Rondinelli, PhD, RN, CNS
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.