Background: Managing the airway of a patient during anesthesia is one of anesthesia
nurse's main tasks. When an unexpected difficult airway occurs, the high demands in
terms of competence of the nurse anesthetist. Previous research has small extent
focused on the nurse anesthetist experiences of this complex situation. It is therefore
desirable to perform further studies on this subject, focusing on experience.
Aim: The aim was to illustrate anesthetic nurses experiences of the unexpected
difficult airway associated with anesthesia.
Method: The study was conducting using qualitative approach. Data were collected
through semi-structured interviews with ten anesthetic nurses employed in two
different surgical departments in Sweden. The interviews were transcribed and
analyzed by content analysis.
Result: The analysis revealed four categories that describe anesthetic nurses
experiences of the unexpected difficult airway associated with anesthesia; experiences
of working under pressure, to work in teams, the importance of feeling safe in their
professional capacity and the value reflection
Conclusion: Anesthetic nurses shared experiences suggest a consensus that when
these situations occur they requested more training together. This is partly to facilitate
cooperation and also to take advantage of others' experiences and strategies to solve
similar situations in the future.
Keywords: Nurse anesthetist, unexpected difficult airways, experiences, feelings.