Critical care beds are a finite resource, resulting in the transfer and admission of patients as a continuous process. Admission to the critical care unit can be extremely frightening, distressing, and traumatic for the patients and families. Although transfer to the medical floors is a positive step toward physical recovery, it can be equally traumatic, and many patients and their families exhibit stress, fear, and anxiety. The purpose of this article was to systematically review the effects of intensive care unit transfer or discharge to medical-surgical floors on adult critically ill patients, their family members, and nurses.
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