Nurse Practitioners and Interdisciplinary Teams in Pediatric Critical Care

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Abstract

Objective:

To describe the members of pediatric intensive care unit interdisciplinary provider teams and labor inputs, working conditions, and clinical practice of pediatric intensive care unit nurse practitioners.

Methods:

A national, quantitative, crosssectional, descriptive postal survey of pediatric intensive care unit medical directors and nurse practitioners was administered to gather information about provider-team members, pediatric intensive care unit nurse practitioner labor inputs, working conditions, and clinical practice. Descriptive statistics, cross-tabulations, and χ2 tests were used.

Results:

Responses from 97 pediatric intensive care unit medical directors and 59 pediatric intensive care unit nurse practitioners representing 126 institutions were received. Provider-team composition varied between institutions with and without nurse practitioners. Pediatric intensive care units employed an average of 3 full-time nurse practitioners; the average nurse practitioner-to-patient ratio was 1 to 5. The clinical practice reported by medical directors was consistent with practice reported by nurse practitioners.

Conclusion:

Nurse practitioners are integrated into interdisciplinary pediatric intensive care unit teams, but institutional variation in team composition exists. Investigating models of care contributes to the understanding of how models influence positive patient and organizational outcomes and may change future role implementation.

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