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Rapid Response Team in a Rural Hospital

Brown, Susan MS, RN; Anderson, Mary Ann PhD, RN; Hill, Pamela D. PhD, RN, FAAN

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0b013e31824590fb
Feature Article

Purpose/Objectives: The objective of this study was to explore the nurses’ knowledge and perceptions of the Rapid Response Team (RRT).

Design: This study was of a prospective, quantitative, descriptive design.

Setting: The setting was a 175-bed rural community nonteaching regional hospital.

Sample: Fifty-seven nurses participated, resulting in a 90.4% response.

Methods: Data were collected through distribution of an adapted survey termed Rapid Response Team Survey; the tool consisted of 3 parts.

Findings: The mean knowledge score was average. A “physician positive” response to the calling of an RRT was not particularly important; a “physician negative” response to calling the RRT was even less important. Knowledge of the RRT criteria and the understanding of the call criteria were important. Knowledge of the process for calling the RRT and how to call were less important to this group.

Conclusions: Although the nurses were able to identify that changes in the patient’s condition had occurred, weakness existed in recognition that those changes required rapid intervention through the calling of the RRT. The nurses positively perceived the RRT and the hospital’s commitment to it. The nurses generally did not allow physician response to impact their willingness to call the RRT.

Implications: The results of this study suggest that education is needed on early identification of the unstable patient and the early insidious signs seen in diseases such as sepsis.

Author Affiliations: Graduate (Ms Brown) and Associate Professor (Dr Anderson), College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, Quad Cities Regional Program, Moline; Clinical Nurse Specialist (Ms Brown), Great River Medical Center, Burlington, Iowa; and Professor and Clinical Nurse Researcher (Dr Hill), Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences, Rock Island, Illinois.

The authors report no funding or conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Pamela D. Hill, PhD, RN, FAAN, Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences, 2122 25th Ave, Rock Island, IL 61201 (

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.