Nursing personnel are involved with managing the care of patients receiving sedative or analgesic medications while undergoing invasive diagnostic or therapeutic procedures. Medication administration, patient monitoring, discharge instruction, family teaching and patient safety concerns are all critical care elements of patients undergoing conscious sedation.
The American Association of Moderate Sedation Nurses (AAMSN) Position Statement on the Role of the Registered Nurse in the Management of Patients Receiving Conscious Sedation for Short-Term Therapeutic, Diagnostic, or Surgical Procedures
Title: Responsibilities of the Registered Nurse related to Conscious Sedation.
Definition: Conscious, moderate or procedural I.V. sedation provides a minimally reduced level of consciousness in which the patient retains the ability to independently and continuously maintain an airway and respond appropriately to physical stimulation or verbal command.
Position: AAMSN teaches the position that registered nurses trained and experienced in critical care, emergency and/or peri-anesthesia specialty areas may be given the responsibility of administration and maintenance of moderate or conscious sedation in the presence, and by the order, of a physician. The registered nurse has the knowledge and experience with medications used and skills to assess, interpret and intervene in the event of complications. This registered nurse is an asset to the physician and enhances the quality of care provided to the patient.
Because of the importance assigned to the task of monitoring the patient who is receiving conscious sedation, a second nurse or associate is required to assist the physician with those procedures that are complicated either by the severity of the patient’s illness and/or the complex technical requirements associated with advanced diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
The registered nurse will be knowledgeable and familiar with their institution’s guidelines as well as The Joint Commission for Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO), American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the American Society of Anesthesiologists for patient monitoring, drug administration, and protocols for dealing with potential complications or emergency situations during and after sedation.