Nurses' knowledge and attitudes about antibiotic therapy in critical care

Cindy L. Munro, Mary Jo Grap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess critical care nurses' knowledge about antibiotic use in critical care settings, and attitudes concerning the role of the nurse in monitoring response to and appropriate use of antibiotic therapy. Method: 90 critical care nurses from 6 adult critical care units at a 780-bed academic, health sciences centre, completed an investigator-developed survey about their knowledge of antibiotic use and their attitudes concerning the role of the nurse. Results: The majority of respondents worked full time (83%) and were BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) prepared (62%), with an average of 9 years' nursing experience and 7 years' experience in intensive care. Using a 100-mm visual analog scale, mean scores on knowledge and comfort with: (1) interpreting culture and sensitivity; (2) white blood cell (WBC) data; and (3) discussing results and therapy with physicians were all less than 50 mm. However, the mean score for nurses' belief of responsibility related to this collaborative role was 76. A knowledge quiz of lab interpretation and antibiotic therapy revealed a mean score of 53.8%. Beliefs about roles were correlated with comfort in discussing therapies with physicians rather than with knowledge. Although nurses value the collaborative surveillance role, they may lack the knowledge and confidence to enact it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-218
Number of pages6
JournalIntensive and Critical Care Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care


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