3 barriers to nurse engagement in antibiotic stewardship

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A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control examined nurses' confidence in engaging in antibiotic stewardship practices as well as barriers to engagement.

Researchers conducted an online survey of pediatric staff nurses employed at a children's hospital with a well-established prospective audit and feedback stewardship program. They used the survey to investigate 10 identified practices that fall within inpatient nurse responsibility and contribute to stewardship. They received responses from 180 nurses.

The study shows nurses were very confident in assessing for adverse drug reaction histories, obtaining cultures prior to antibiotics and participating in patient education. However, they were not as confident in reviewing microbiology results to determine antibiotic appropriateness.

Reported barriers to nurses engaging in stewardship included:

• Not being included in rounds
• Interdisciplinary power differentials
• Nursing input not actively being sought

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