This study, “Decisions Made by Critical Care Nurses During Mechanical Ventilation and Weaning in an Australian Intensive Care Unit,” by Rose and colleagues, reports on a 3-month prospective cohort study of 474 patients admitted to a medical-surgical intensive care unit (ICU) in Australia. The study assessed the role of Australian critical care nurses in decision making regarding mechanical ventilation and weaning. Sixty-seven percent of the patients (n=319) received mechanical ventilation during the 81-day study period. A total of 3986 ventilation and weaning decisions were made including ventilator setting changes as well as adjustments to rate or pressure support, tidal volume, positive-end expiratory pressure, and fraction of inspired oxygen. Nurses made 64% of decisions, physicians made 17%, and 19% were made collaboratively.

The results of the study demonstrated high levels of responsibility and autonomy of critical care nurses in decision...

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