Quarterly scientific journal

Knowledge of pulse oximetry among medical and nursing staff

Sotiria Koutsouki , Dimitrios Kosmidis


The pulse oximetry is a widely used non invasive method for monitoring the arterial oxygenation. The doctors and the nurses are persons which are in charge for right interpretation of measurements, receiving suitable interventions for the management of patients. Aim: To assess nurses' and doctors’ knowledge of pulse oximetry and identify training needs. Material and method: Participants in this study were 376 doctors and nurses from critical and general care settings in seven hospitals in Greece. The data collection was done through a self-administered questionnaire. Frequency of use, critical care experience, and opinions about education needs were included in demographic data. The knowledge test consisted of a 15 item, multiple-choice questionnaire, designed by researchers based on international bibliography. Results: A 70,7% of participants, use pulse oximeter often and 66,3% consider that is very useful in daily clinical practice. 83,7% didn’t have some type of past education while more than 81,4% believes that they need further education. The average score for all (on a 15-point scale) was 8,5. Ιn particular, the average score for each team had as follows: 10,5±2,7 for the specialized doctors, 9,6±3,1 for residents, 7,8±3,3 for the nurses and 7,4±3,4 for the nurse assistants. Low percentages of right answers were observed mainly in the questions about principles on which the pulse oximetry are based, clinical application and limitations, as well as normal ranges. Conclusion: The comprehension of pulse oximetry is insufficient, mainly in the nursing staff while totally is observed the need for further education

Keywords: pulse oximetry, knowledge, medical staff, nursing staff

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