Perceived Knowledge of the Registered Nurse in Managing Hyperglycemia According to Evidence-Based Practice in the Acute Care Setting
The purpose of this study was to examine the perception of the registered nurses' knowledge in managing the non-diabetic patient with hyperglycemia in the acute care setting. The evidence that has been identified to keep tight glycemic control has demonstrated better outcomes for this population of patients.
A non-experimental, quantitative approach was used in this study. Data was obtained based on a descriptive design, using a survey to collect information from an identified population. A convenience sample of 298 registered nurses, who worked as staff nurses at a small community hospital, was selected to obtain information for this study.
A questionnaire was the tool developed to collect the data for this research design. This questionnaire was developed from the research results found in the literature. The questionnaire had close-ended questions for the demographic information. Open-ended questions were used on a Likert scale to obtain data on perceived knowledge of evidence-based practice and knowledge on hyperglycemia.
One hundred and one questionnaires were returned yielding a 34% response rate. A normal fasting blood sugar was identified by 72% of the sample and 42% knew the goal of intensive insulin therapy. Certification in a specialty was obtained by 25% of the sample, 33% belonged to a professional organization and 42% subscribed to nursing journals. The questions on evidence-based practice and its place in clinical practice was identified by an overall average of 13% of the sample. The responses on hyperglycemia in the non-diabetic patient showed an overall average of 21% of the sample with knowledge that is supported by research for best clinical practice.
The results of this descriptive study supported the literature that the number one barrier in managing hyperglycemia is lack of knowledge. Evidence-based practice needs to be imbedded in nursing culture. The delivery of nursing care needs to be benchmarked against research, put into clinical practice, and evaluated. Deliberate care with specific outcomes is the standard that will be required.
Identifying the knowledge of the staff in managing hyperglycemia will allow for educational programs to be developed to bring the knowledge base of the staff nurse forward to achieve best practice.