Skip to content

Intensive care research presented at the international congress

Published: 2 March 2017

Research focused on critical care nurses' experiences of temporary staffing and experiences of caring for patients who have experienced trauma are parts of the research from Luleå University of Technology presented at the congress European Federation of Critical Care Nursing associations, EfCCNa.

– It is important to be there and present our research from the university and see what's going on, but the most important thing is the network of contacts, making new contacts and nurture those we have, says Professor and intensive care nurse Åsa Engström.

The Congress was held in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in mid-February and attracted 416 participants, mainly from Europe but also from Australia, Israel and Brazil. The Congress is held every two years in different parts of Europe.

Study on hired nurses

Asa Engstrom gave an oral presentation on the pilot study, Critical Care Nurses' experiences of temporary staffing in ICU, she made together with Anna Berg Jansson, researcher at Work Sciences, Luleå University of Technology. It is about the expepriences on working as temporary intensive care nurse and as regular employees, as well as how temporary staff is perceived.
The result showed that the regular staffs takes a big overall responsibility while temporary staff work close to the patient, which is also one of the reasons that they decided to work as temporary staff.
The team is also affected. The staffs want to know that knowledge is available and that equipment, for example, will be found, which can be difficult if you have not worked together before. In the current situation, temporary workers are still necessary for the regular staff can be off duty, and temporary workers can help to come up with new input or findings from other hospitals.

– Temporary staff is a global issue that both affects and engages. Many came to listen and I got many questions. There is a need to do more research on this particular area, then the temporary staffing seems to continue, but it is not studied how it affects nurses' long term formal and informal learning.

In the current situation, there are no similar studies of learning and development issues related to temporary staffing and knowledge of who is working as a temporary nurse. These are questions that Asa Engstrom and Anna Berg Jansson will continue to research in an on going project funded by Swedich Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, FORTE.

Presentations of posters

Linda Sandstrom presented two posters. The study Experiences of nursing patient suffering from trauma involves critical care nurses' experiences of caring for patients who have experienced trauma. The study shows that nurses feel inadequate to the patients which may depend on the staffing, communication in the trauma team or that it can be difficult situations such as a injured child.

– Intensive care nurse feels twofold when they will try to accommodate trauma patient needs while they are patients, for example the Intensive Care Unite and also have families to think about, says Linda Sandström. One conclusion from this study is that it is important to have adequate resources and that there is opportunity for debriefing

The second poster, showed the study The helicopter as a caring context, which is about how patients injured so seriously that they are retrieved by helicopter experienced care during helicopter transport.

– What was surprising compared to the previous research on helicopter care, is that the patients emphasizes that it is safe, professional and person-centred. To get access to the helicopter signalled that their injury was taken very seriously and there were constantly experienced staff closely. They expressed that it felt like the best and safest way to be transported to the hospital, said Linda Sandström.

Previous research from the staff perspective have seen the negative consequences of helicopter services and their environment, in the form of limited resources, such as confined space, no access to other staff or equipment and the hazards of flying in bad weather or difficult terrain.

Passing on knowledge

At the Congress were researchers, graduate students and intensive care nurses represented. Also organizations such as the National Association for anesthesia and intensive care was in place.
– It was a very interesting program that addressed the development of the care of the seriously ill patient and the time afterwards, but also practical parts like ventilator treatment, hygiene and patient safety. The days were very fruitful and the knowledge we have gained, we will also convey to our students, says Åsa Engström.

Links to the studies:

Related articles


Åsa Engström

Åsa Engström, Professor and Head of Subject

Phone: +46 (0)920 493875
Organisation: Nursing, Nursing and Medical Technology, Department of Health, Education and Technology