Research is essential to build the scientific evidence for critical care nursing practice, but it is challenging to conduct research in the busy critical care environment. The challenges are even greater in a setting with limited resources for research, and where nurses typically have not conducted independent clinical research.

This lecture details a successful research trajectory that studied the ABCs of patient care in the critically ill: airway, breathing, and circulation. After conducting initial studies on circulation, the research was narrowed to focus on airway management. Airway management may play a key factor in preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia because aspiration of colonized oral, gastric, and tracheal secretions is its primary etiology. Multiple descriptive, pilot, and interventional studies were conducted; findings from each have contributed to subsequent studies.

Other ABCs were crucial to success: action, back-to-basics, collaboration, and discovery. It is important for the researcher to be self-motivated and take initiative to...

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