Nurses know that head-of-bed (HOB) elevation of 30° to 45° is associated with a decrease in ventilator-associated pneumonia. However, can clinicians accurately identify the correct HOB elevation by observation? Hiner and colleagues put 175 clinicians to the test. Clinicians viewed a simulated critically ill patient in a bed with the HOB elevated and the elevation gauge concealed. They found the following:
A little more than 50% of the nurses and respiratory therapists, and less than 50% of the medical assistants, accurately identified the correct elevation using observation alone.
Clinicians should not rely on observation to establish correct HOB elevation. The inclinometer gauge, usually provided on the bed, should be used to ensure accurate HOB elevation of 30° to 45°.
—Karen Johnson, RN, PhD
See Article, pp 164–167
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