Self-Leadership in a Critical Care Outreach Service for Quality Patient Care




patient deterioration, quality patient care, self-leadership, critical care outreach


The deterioration of patients in general wards could go unnoticed owing to the intermittent monitoring of vital data. The delayed or missed recognition of deteriorating patients results in serious adverse events in general wards. These challenges have resulted in the development of a critical care outreach service. Australia was the first country to establish critical care outreach services in 1990. In South Africa, critical care outreach services were implemented in 2005 at a private hospital in Pretoria. The researcher has noticed certain phenomena supported by literature such as the hesitancy of nurses working in general wards to escalate a patient to a critical care outreach service, and incorrect interpretation of modified early warning scores which could cause delays in patients being referred to outreach nurse experts. In this study, nurses’ (professional, staff and auxiliary nurses) experiences in respect of their self-leadership in critical care outreach services were explored. To this end, a qualitative phenomenological research approach was followed. Focus groups were held with the nurses (all nurse categories) working in a South African private hospital which provides critical care outreach services. It is recommended that nurses be granted access to training sessions, workshops and information to provide appropriate nursing care. Nurses should be encouraged to focus on the positive outcomes of providing nursing care and to “applaud themselves mentally” when they have successfully assisted or cared for their patients. Nurses also need to identify and correct negative assumptions about their competence.


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How to Cite

Prinsloo, Carine. 2020. “Self-Leadership in a Critical Care Outreach Service for Quality Patient Care”. Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery 22 (2):19 pages.



Received 2020-03-25
Accepted 2020-06-18
Published 2020-09-21