Background: Nurses are the main users of supplies and equipment applied in the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) which are high-priced and costly. Therefore, understanding ICU nurses’ experiences about resource management contributes to the better control of the costs. Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the culture of nurses’ working environment regarding the resource management in the ICUs in Iran. Patients and Methods: In this study, a focused ethnographic method was used. Twenty-eight informants among ICU nurses and other professional individuals were purposively selected and interviewed. As well, 400 hours of ethnographic observations as a participant observer was used for data gathering. Data analysis was performed using the methods described by Miles and Huberman (1994). Results: Two main themes describing the culture of ICU nurses regarding resource management included (a) consumption monitoring and auditing, and (b) prudent use. The results revealed that the efforts for resource management are conducted in the conditions of scarcity and uncertainty in supply. ICU nurses had a sense of futurism in the supply and use of resources in the unit and do the planning through taking the rules and guidelines as well as the available resources and their values into account. Improper storage of some supplies and equipment was a reaction to this uncertain condition among nurses. Conclusions: To manage the resources effectively, improvement of supply chain management in hospital seems essential. It is also necessary to hold educational classes in order to enhance the nurses’ awareness on effective supply chain and storage of the items in the unit stock.
Materials Management, ICU, Ethnography, Culture, Nursing.