Neurologic disorders are one of the top 3 admitting diagnoses for patients in an intensive care unit (ICU). Medical management often includes care that minimizes sympathetic nervous system stimulation and metabolic demands such as environmental modification, quiet time, clustering of activities, and adjustment of caregiver and patient interactions. However, research on the impact of these interventions in children is minimal.

Burcie and colleagues interviewed pediatric ICU nurses to understand their interpretation and practice of minimal stimulation care. They identified 3 themes:

  1. New knowledge and practice: a definition of minimal stimulation was developed and specific tasks described.

  2. Communication: Pediatric ICU nurses described their roles as gatekeeper, advocate, educator, and communicator with families and clinical staff.

  3. Impact of minimal stimulation: 3 areas identified included efficacy of interventions, immediate impact on family, and long-term impact on family.

The study offers a working definition for nursing practice of minimal stimulation and provides a foundation...

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