Change is an essential component in various professions and areas of practice. In nursing profession, one of the areas in which change theory is usually applied is the area of specialized and nursing care in ICU. It is a practice which defines the role of nurses in taking care of patients who are admitted in the intensive care unit (ICU). This paper will discuss how change theory is applied in the above-mentioned area of practice, especially when dealing with the problem of patient overstay in the ICU.
Change theory in nursing consists of three stages which include unfreezing, changing, and refreezing. Notably, the area of specialized and nursing care in ICU is characterized by numerous changes, especially due to constant inventions of new technology and products. The unfreezing stage involves cognitive exposure to the idea of change, diagnosis of a problem, and identification of alternative solutions. On this stage, a multidisciplinary team is involved in analyzing the possible causes and solutions to issues like prolonged patient stay in ICU. Moreover, the stage involves studying driving and restraining forces (Jeanmonod & Jeanmonod, 2018).
The stage of changing involves putting in place a system to solve the identified problem. The first step on this stage is the formation of ICU extended stay committee which deals with the problem of patient overstay in the ICU. Furthermore, the introduction of the admission discharge time (EADT) is essential to facilitate bed identification of patients by nurses. Additionally, the establishment of other units, such as ICU and CCU which has the same bed accessories and uniform care provision as ICU, is essential in easing the prolonged ICU durations (Habib & Khan, 2017). The refreezing stage involves monitoring that the new systems are working effectively. Nurses are involved in this stage through daily checks and monitoring on shift bases to ensure the system is sustainable and that it prevents patients from overstaying in ICU (Jeanmonod & Jeanmonod, 2018).
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Change is an inevitable process in human lives as it promotes reformation and progress. One of the areas of practice in which the change theory can be applied is solving the problem of patient overstay in the ICU. The process involves the three stages of change theory which include: unfreezing, changing, and refreezing stages. The process of change is challenging and requires collaboration between all stakeholders.