Computerised equipment is increasingly used in fast-paced health care environments such as ICUs where core decisions must be made quickly.
There are no general computerised equipment courses for ICU nurses in the Sydney (NSW Australia) metropolitan area; the responsibility for the training and education in these technologies lies with the employing hospital.
For this study, computerised equipment used in the ICU was defined as computerised equipment producing patient data.
To explore ICU nurses' training and education experiences with computerised equipment and the relationship between these experiences and their clinical nursing roles.
The hospitals chosen were representative of the computerised environment and range of equipment used in ICUs in Australia.
From one fully and one partially computerised ICU, three members of nursing staff were asked to volunteer.
The level of computer literacy however is not a barrier to computerised equipment competency.
Experiences of critical care computerised equipment education/training
The nurses' education and training to use computerised equipment was mainly through on-the-job experiences.
In the fully computerised unit there was a data manager who, even though holding a non-clinical position, could be called on to give in-service lectures and troubleshoot technical difficulties with equipment.