Oxygen and Ventilator Treatment: Perspectives on Interprofessional Collaboration in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Marianne Trygg Solberg, Thor Willy Ruud Hansen, Ida Torunn Bjørk


Background: The aim of this study was to explore perspectives on the collaboration between physicians and nurses managing oxygen and ventilator treatment of sick infants in a Norwegian neonatal intensive care unit.

Methods and Findings: We performed a qualitative study using focus groups. We found that interprofessional collaboration concerning newborns on mechanical ventilation lacked co-ordination and was unsystematic. This led to inadequate utilization of the medical and clinical competency of the nursing staff. Nurses and physicians approached decision-making differently, and there was limited flexibility and dynamics in the allocation of responsibility between the professionals.

Conclusion: Findings from this study indicate that nurses and physicians have the opportunity to improve the quality of care by developing high-quality communication, formulating plans together, and improving the co-ordination of the ventilator treatment. Further studies should develop and test interventions based on the professionals’ perception of relevant co-ordination strategies to improve mechanical ventilation and oxygen treatment to premature and sick newborn infants.


Quality of care; Collaboration; Oxygen treatment; Mechanical ventilation; Neonatal intensive care unit

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22230/jripe.2014v4n1a172