Practice habits continue in clinical practice despite the availability of research and other forms of evidence that should be used to guide critical care practice interventions. This article is based on a presentation at the 2014 National Teaching Institute of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. The article is part of a series of articles that challenge critical care nurses to examine the evidence guiding nursing practice interventions. Four common practice interventions are reviewed: (1) weight-based medication administration, (2) chest tube patency maintenance, (3) daily interruption of sedation, and (4) use of chest physiotherapy in children. For weight-based administration of medication, the patient’s actual weight should be measured, rather than using an estimate. The therapeutic effectiveness and dosages of medications used in obese patients must be critically evaluated. Maintaining patency of chest tubes does not require stripping and milking, which probably do more harm than good. Daily interruption of sedation and judicious use of sedatives are appropriate in most patients receiving mechanical ventilation. Traditional chest physiotherapy does not help children with pneumonia, bronchiolitis, or asthma and does not prevent atelectasis after extubation. Critical care nurses are challenged to evaluate their individual practice and to adopt current evidence-based practice interventions into their daily practice.

You do not currently have access to this content.