Registered Nurses’ Decisions Around Referral of Residents With Urinary Tract Infections: A Retrospective Cohort Study
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Background: Referral of residents with urinary tract infections (UTIs) in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) to hospital are common. However, there is limited information on what influences Registered Nurses’ (RN) decision-making process. Aim: To investigate resident factors that influence RN’s decisions to escalate care. Design: A retrospective cohort approach audited electronic clinical records of residents with UTIs. Methods: Data were extracted from the electronic database and analyzed using descriptive and regression analysis. Approval was obtained from both the RACFs and University Human Research Ethics Committee. Results: There was a higher likelihood of being referred to hospital if residents were female, had had a past fall, had related comorbidity, or had abnormal vital signs. However, being older and having a urinary catheter were protective factors for referral by the RN. Conclusion: Referral of residents with UTIs by RNs to hospital is common in RACFs. Resident characteristics such as abnormal vital signs, past falls, and presence of comorbidity influence referrals by RNs. Nurse Practitioners dedicated to the RACFs could complement the role of a general practitioner. UTI-specific escalation protocols can assist RNs to make decisions about referrals. RNs’ related risk factors also need to be examined to understand other influencing factors.
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