Telemedicine could be one answer to the growing demand for hospital intensivists. It has already been shown to improve survival and prevent intensive care unit (ICU) complications by providing direct, continuous monitoring of patients by trained intensivists who are available when in-house staff are not. However, for telemedicine to work, effective communication between the telemedicine staff and bedside nurses is essential.

Mullen-Fortino et al looked at bedside nurses’ satisfaction with telemedicine services. Generally, respondents endorsed the idea that telemedicine has a positive effect on patient outcomes. However, actual contact between nurses and telemedicine staff was rare. The authors recommended the following ways a hospital can improve nurses’ satisfaction with telemedicine:

—Alethea Sment,rn, bsn, ccrn-csc

See Article, pp 24–32

Families in the ICU setting are forced to function outside their “normal” family roles. With no agreed upon scripts for behavior, informal roles emerge....

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