Inside the Mind of a Rapid Response Activator

Gail Maureen Mosher, Rhode Island College


The health care delivery system in this nation continues to spiral out of control. Statistics report on the shocking number of people who are harmed or die due to medical errors. This project will focus on one process in the armamentarium, the Rapid Response Team (RRT). The purpose of the study was to explore staff nurse perceived barriers and enhancers to an effective RRT. Qualitative design was employed and individual semi-structured interviews were conducted at a 359 bed community hospital. The sample consisted of 15 medical-surgical nurses who had experienced a rapid response (RR) event at this site. Potential subjects were excluded if they had worked in the emergency department or a critical care unit or if they stated a belief that they had not been significantly affected by a RR event. Findings showed that the study participants were exceptionally appreciative of their RRT. They encountered minimal barriers and shared some poignant suggestions that may make valuable contributions to the institution's RRT. Participants expressed a significant desire for more education to develop their self-efficacy and skills in these emergency events. Conclusions and implications for advanced practice are identified and discussed.