Purpose: Alarm fatigue among working nurses is a well-documented, high-priority safety issue. This article describes a study to learn whether alarm fatigue develops in undergraduate nursing student populations.
Methods: This longitudinal quantitative study employed survey data from a single cohort of nursing students in the Southeastern US over a period of 18 months to assess nursing students’ level of sensitivity to alarms, including the call bell, bathroom, fall and safety, I.V. infusion pumps, and telemetry alarms.
Results: These data were significant for I.V. infusion pump alarms and indicated a general decrease in sensitivity over an 18-month period. Nursing students with previous healthcare experience also noted decreased sensitivity to bathroom call bells and fall and safety alarms.
Conclusion: Alarm fatigue was recognized among the surveyed nursing students. Nurse educators also identified a performance-based strategy to increase student awareness of alarm fatigue and evidence-based strategies to minimize desensitization to alarms in both education and practice.Reference:
Weeks K, Timalonis J, Donovan L. Does alarm fatigue start in nursing school? Nursing. 2021 May 1;51(5):59-63. doi: 10.1097/01.NURSE.0000743284.73649.7a. PMID: 33885434.
IV pump alarm fatigue is it an issue for nurses? Well the short answer is yes! In this study student nurses experienced "a general decrease in sensitivity over an 18-month period".