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Hello Prof. & Class,

Alarm fatigue is “the lack of response due to excessive numbers of alarms resulting in sensory overload and desensitization” (Coach,2012). It is a distraction on every nursing unit. Labor & Delivery, ICU and the ET are, I believe, the three areas with the most alarm fatigue.

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‘All three areas have alarms related to blood pressure, pulse ox, respiratory rate, heart rate and IV pumps. In Labor and Delivery, we have the added alarms of the fetal monitor. The alarm on the fetal monitor will go off if there is a lose of the fetal heart rate, due to fetal or maternal movement, or if the fetal heart rate is not within the normal range for more than 30 seconds. Depending on the patient, these alarms can be going off constantly. After awhile, it is easy to assume the patient has changed position or used the restroom when you hear the alarm. This may not be the case. There could be a serious problem that isn’t being addressed immediately.

The article by West describes a very busy medical unit with an excessive turnover rate. The triage/treatment room in L&D is just like this. It is a three bedded room staffed by one nurse. Patients come in, are evaluated and either admitted or treated and released. Most of the time, there is a patient waiting for a bed to become available. Personally, I prefer not to work in this area. The stress level is high because many things need to be done at the same time. Patients often complain because they feel you are not giving them the attention they require.

Donna

references

Cvach, M., (2012). Monitor alarm fatigue: An integrative review. Biomedical instrumentation & Technology, 46(4), 268-277.

West, P., Abbott, P., & Proust, P. (2014). alarm Fatigue: A Concept Analysis. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics, 18(2),1. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost.com.chamberlainuniversity…

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