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Jacqueline Hogan, John F Playle
British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 9, Iss. 12, 12 Jun 2000, pp 794 - 801

The increasing role of healthcare assistants (HCAs) in intensive care in relation to patient monitoring has raised concerns among some clinical managers, particularly where such roles are not underpinned by a sound knowledge base and critical reasoning ability. This article describes a study which was undertaken in an attempt to identify how HCAs are currently utilized within the general intensive care environment. The results show a wide variation between units in relation to the activities undertaken by HCAs, their training and the levels of remuneration. This article seeks to open up the debate as to whether or not nurses should be challenging the nursing care that is now delivered by non-nurses and makes recommendations for the way forward in this area.

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