Survey of Italian intensive care unit nurses' knowledge about endotracheal suctioning guidelines

Alessandra Negro, Roberta Ranzani, Mariagrazia Villa, Duilio Manara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Endotracheal suctioning is a common procedure performed by intensive care nurses in order to establish and maintain gas exchange, adequate oxygenation and alveolar ventilation in critically ill patients under mechanical ventilation. As this procedure is associated with several complications and risks nurses should have an adequate knowledge on how to perform the procedure according to the evidence-based practice. Previously only a few studies have analysed nurses' knowledge of the guidelines on endotracheal suctioning. Aim: To evaluate the knowledge of the American Association of Respiratory Care (. AARC, 2010) evidence-based guidelines on the endotracheal suctioning technique by Italian intensive care nurses in different hospitals. Materials and methods: An anonymous questionnaire based on previous studies was sent to a selected sample composed of the intensive care unit (ICU) nurses of 16 ICUs in 11 Italian hospitals. Results: The questionnaire was sent to 379 nurses, with 65% of questionnaires returned completed. The total percentage of correct answers was 58%, and nobody completed the questionnaire without mistakes. Moreover, only 2.5% (. n=. 6) of the nurses gave 9/10 correct answers. Correct answers were more common amongst the more experienced ICU nurses. Conclusion: Italian ICU nurses' knowledge of guidelines on endotracheal suctioning was not complete; however, experienced nurses demonstrated a better knowledge of the subject.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-345
Number of pages7
JournalIntensive and Critical Care Nursing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Endotracheal suctioning
  • Evidence based guidelines
  • Intensive care
  • Knowledge
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care


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