The knowledge of critical care nurses about the kidney donation process
Purrazzo, Holly N.
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The kidney donation process is the removal of kidneys from a client declared brain dead for the purpose of transplantation to persons suffering from end-stage renal disease. The primary purpose of this study was to measure the level of knowledge critical care nurses have about the kidney donation process. A secondary purpose was to determine if a significant difference existed between the level of knowledge demonstrated by critical care nurses based on their experience in critical care nursing and in the kidney donation process. An ex post facto study was designed. Concepts from the theory of reasoned action and the theory of adult learning provided the conceptual framework for the study. The sample was 300 registered nurses. The subjects were employed full-time in critical care units, where potential or actual kidney donors had been hospitalized in 1984, in 23 community hospitals. Data were collected by mail utilizing an instrument, the Kidney Donation Test, which was developed for use in this study through consultations with numerous health care professionals. The Kidney Donation Test was composed of 22 multiple-choice items to measure the level of knowledge critical care nurses have about the kidney donation process. The Cronbach's alpha for the test was .4693. For the 22 items, the mean score of the sample was 15.50. Participants demonstrated varying levels of knowledge of the kidney donation process. Critical care nurses who had provided nursing care for potential or actual kidney donors more than three times had significantly higher scores on the test than subjects who had participated in the kidney donation process three or less times. The findings of the study should be viewed as inconclusive but suggest that orientation programs to prepare nurses to work with kidney donors and their families may be needed.