More than half of all critical care nurses still believe that sedation is necessary to keep patients comfortable during episodes of mechanical ventilation, according to the new study, “Nurses’ Attitudes and Practices Related to Sedation: A National Survey,” by Guttormson and colleagues. The original research done in 2005 revealed the significant influence of nurses’ attitudes about sedation on sedation practices. In the current study, Guttormson et al reexamine the state of nurses’ attitudes regarding sedation of patients receiving mechanical ventilation to see if those attitudes have changed since the 2005 study in light of the implementation of the pain, agitation, and delirium guidelines. They found that, yes, attitudes have changed: more nurses indicate a belief that sedation is no longer required for all patients receiving mechanical ventilation. This is a significant step forward in addressing concerns about oversedation.

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