Critical Care Air Transport Nurse Deployability Index


Name: Theresa Dremsa

Rank: Lt Col, USAF

Organization: Ohio State University

Performance Site: The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas

Year Published: 2005

Abstract Status: Initial


tThe Air Force Aeromedical Evacuation System has attended to "over 3,200 missions and supported more than 40,000 patient transports without a single in-flight combat-related death" since the initiation of Operation Iraqi Freedom" (Brannon, 2004). The Critical Care Air Transport Teams (CCATT) care for the most critically injured soldiers on aeromedical evacuation missions. Critical Care nurses are key members on CCATT missions and have been tasked to attend to over 600 critically injured soldiers since the initiation of Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq. Transporting the injured out of the combat environment and risk of exposure to ongoing combat is a unique clinical nursing experience. The CCATT Nurses' Deployed Experience study (Dremsa, et al., 2003) used Benner's (1994a) method for analysis of qualitative data to obtain experiential knowledge of CCATT nurses in the care of critically ill or injured patients in a high-risk deployed setting. The purpose of this proposed study is to develop an instrument to measure "deployment preparedness" of CCATT nurses. This non-randomized cross-sectional multi-site study will use an instrument development methodology to meet the following specific aims: 1) Develop the Critical Care Air Transport Team Nurse Deployability Index (CCATTN-DI) to operationalize dimensions of the concept of deployment preparedness of CCATT nurses; 2) Evaluate the reliability and validity of the CCATTN-DI when administered to the population of CCATT nurses. Potential items will be derived from the interviews and focus groups of the previous study of 24 CCATT nurses' deployment experiences, and from relevant literature. The newly developed items will be evaluated by the same 24 CCATT nurses by a Delphi technique, which is a multistage, iterative process used to obtain group consensus on proposed items. After pilot testing and further revision of the new instrument, it will be administered to all CCATT nurses (approximately 250), along with other relevant measures. It is hypothesized that individuals with higher scores of readiness to deploy on the two new instruments will also have higher scores on other measures of deployment readiness for nurses. The new instrument, specific for the unique role of CCATT nurses, would be useful for screening of CCATT nurses prior to deployment to determine training needs, to evaluate the effectiveness of CCATT training via pre- and post-test measurements, and as a potential predictor of the success of CCATT missions.