OBJECTIVE: To describe the research methodology used in development and validation of a scientific patient classification instrument for South African critical care patients. METHOD: This is a contextual, exploratory, and descriptive study. A two-phase validating model was used as a research method. In the development phase a literature review was carried out (domain identification), a provisional instrument developed (item generation), and a peer group discussion conducted (item formation). In the quantification phase 16 experts determined if both the items of the instrument and the entire instrument were content valid. The study was conducted within the framework of South African critical care nursing. RESULTS: In the peer group discussion the instrument was debated until consensus was reached. In the quantification phase, both the items of the instrument and the entire instrument were rated as content valid. CONCLUSIONS: Established patient classification systems can be successfully adapted and validated for local use.
BACKGROUND: To maintain a high standard of quality nursing care the individual critical care nurse s competencies should be determined objectively. Few international guidelines describe the qualities required by critical care nurses to function effectively in a critical care unit. These guidelines often focus only on the education and training of critical care nurses. OBJECTIVE: To formulate and describe guidelines for the competency requirements of registered critical care nurses. METHOD: A focus group interview, a qualitative research method, was conducted as an open conversation in which each participant could ask questions, comment, or respond to comments. Interaction among the respondents was encouraged to stimulate in-depth discussion. The study was conducted within the framework of South African critical care nursing. RESULTS: The four main categories that were identified are as follows: professional competence, cognitive competence, interpersonal skills, and critical care patterns of interaction. These are described in detail along with a formulated guideline for critical care nurse competency requirements. CONCLUSION: This study describes an attempt to formulate objective guidelines for critical care nurses competency requirements.