Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MScN)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr Rubina Barolia


School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Background: Alarm fatigue is a significant concern within the healthcare sector, marked by the excessive exposure of healthcare practitioners to clinical alarms. This prolonged exposure can result in desensitization and delay nurse’s responsiveness to vital warnings. The occurrence of inaccurate alarms intensifies desensitization, undermining confidence in alarm systems and potentially leading nurses to ignore alarms. Alarm fatigue is a prevalent issue of worldwide significance, which calls for more investigation to effectively tackle these issues and enhance understanding of alarm systems to get the best possible treatment results. However, there is a lack of study undertaken in Pakistan about the investigation regarding response of intensive care unit (ICU) nurses to clinical alarms and their understanding of alarm fatigue.
Purpose: The objectives of this study are to describe the type and criticality of alarms produced by machines at the patient’s bedside and explore the experiences of alarm response and alarm fatigue among nurses working in the ICU of a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan.
Methodology: This study used an observational descriptive exploratory methodology to investigate the experiences of alarm response and alarm fatigue among nurses working in the ICU. The research was conducted in an 11-bed intensive care unit, with nurses selected through purposive sampling. Data was collected through observations (camera and documentation) and interviews, and the findings were analyzed through content analysis. Moreover, synergy model was used as a theoretical framework for this study.
Finding: The study investigated how nurses respond to clinical alerts and their perception of alarm fatigue. The observational findings highlighted a diverse range of alarms and demonstrated variations in nurse responses to these alerts. Additionally, the observations identified discrepancies between the alarms set on monitors and those documented on the flowsheet. The content analysis study identified five key themes: Alarm setting guarantees patient Safety, Alarms response follows standards and patient priority, alarm driven nurse’s actions, alarm fatigue exists and is dangerous, alarm fatigue can be combat. Moreover, the study illuminates the consequences of alarm desensitization and explores methods to alleviate alarm fatigue.
Conclusion: The findings of the study offer crucial suggestions for nursing leaders and administrators to enact policies aimed at reducing alarm fatigue among nurses. The recommendations encompass the implementation of procedures aimed at prioritizing alerts according to their level of criticality, the provision of education and training programs focused on the appropriate handling of alarms, and the frequent evaluation of the efficacy of existing alarm systems.

Included in

Nursing Commons