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Adult Nursing

Benefits of Nursing Autonomy

20 Aug, 17 | by rheale

By Roberta Heale, Associate Editor EBN @robertaheale

I spent a few days in hospital this past June. Other than the birth of my children, I’d never been hospitalized. Knowing how long and hard shift work is, as well as the pressures put on staff nurses in this day and age, I was apprehensive about what my experience would be like. Turns out, I shouldn’t have worried. The nurses were wonderful, not only in responding to my emotional needs, but also in the assessment and treatment of my physical symptoms. I was reminded how important it is for nurses to work in an environment where they are able to use their expert clinical skill and judgment in the care of patients.

Greater nursing autonomy promotes better patient outcomes. As a reminder for you, check out the commentary Greater nurse autonomy associated with lower mortality and failure to rescue rates. It’s free and can be found at this link:

http://ebn.bmj.com/content/20/2/56

Nursing is under ongoing pressure in many countries. It’s not uncommon to learn that nursing positions have been reduced and replaced by non-nursing, generic workers, or that nurse-to-patient ratios are climbing. Support of nurses to ensure that their work environment not only allows them autonomy of practice, but also appropriate resources to do their job well, is important. In doing so, you may be helping out a friend or family, or maybe even yourself.

Primary healthcare access for post-release prisoners

14 Aug, 17 | by hnoble

Claire Carswell, PhD candidate, October 2017, Queens University Belfast.

Twitter chat on Wednesday 16th August 2017 between 8 pm and 9 pm (UK time) Primary Healthcare access for post-release prisoners’ will focus on the barriers to primary healthcare faced by people on release from prison Everyone is welcome to participate in the Twitter chat, regardless of profession or experience. The Twitter chat will be hosted by Claire Carswell who commences her PhD studies in October 2017 at Queens University Belfast.

To participate in the Twitter chat, you will need a registered Twitter account. If you do not have an account, you can create one easily at www.twitter.com. Once you have an account, it is easy to get started. You can follow the discussion on Twitter by searching for #ebnjc – this is the EBN Twitter chat hashtag and by searching for this in Twitter, you’ll only see the relevant tweets related to the Twitter chat. Include #ebnjc in every tweet you send, to ensure that everyone participating in the Twitter chat can see your tweet. But remember, each tweet is limited to 140 characters of text, so make your tweets informative and concise.

The transition period from prison to the community is a high-risk period for offenders. There are significantly increased mortality and morbidity rates during the months following release, with post-release prisoners at high risk of suicide, substance misuse relapse and accidental overdose.

Continuity of care for post-release prisoners is a particular problem and could contribute to the mortality rate of this population. Primary healthcare services in particular have been identified as a crucial health resource when prisoners leave prison (Kinner et al., 2015). The National Institute of Health Research published ‘Care for Offenders Continuity of Access’ (COCOA) in June 2012 (http://www.netscc.ac.uk/hsdr/files/project/SDO_FR_08-1713-210_V01.pdf). This report not only highlighted the higher morbidity rates of prisoners compared to the general population, but also identified barriers that prevented post-release prisoners from accessing statutory healthcare services.

The main barriers that the report identified included prisoners not being registered with GPs prior to release from prison and difficulties registering once back in the community. The report also highlighted that this resulted in post-release prisoners being unable to receive necessary chronic medications, having only been provided short-term courses on release. There was also an overall feeling of being unsupported by services, including health and probation services.

The dramatic decline in health following release from prison makes the need for continuity of care essential. The COCOA report found that it was easier to access services while still in prison, and that stigma post-release prisoners faced in the community also contributed as a barrier to access primary healthcare services. Further research could be conducted to identify the difficulties associated with providing treatment to this specific population, as the high morbidity rate and complex mental health issues of post-release prisoners could present a substantial burden on primary care resources. Improved relationships between the criminal justice system and the primary healthcare service could help reduce stigma and improve the transition of care. Other ways of addressing these barriers include registration with a GP prior to release from prison and provision of longer term prescriptions on release that take into account the waiting times for a GP appointment.

References

Kinner, S.A., Young, J.T., and Carroll, M. (2015) The pivotal role of primary care in meeting the health needs of people recently released from prison, Australasian Psychiatry, 23 (6) 650-653

Using healthcare models to inform obesity interventions.

31 Jul, 17 | by hnoble

Emma McGleenan, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queens University Belfast.

 

One in four adults are now obese and the Government has introduced several initiatives to combat this problem and its growing cost on NHS services. Examples of Government schemes include‘Nutrition Now’ https://www.rcn.org.uk/professional-development/publications/pub-003284; laws on food labels https://www.food.gov.uk/science/allergy-intolerance/label/labelling-changes and advertisements aimed at decreasing one’s waist circumference http://www.publichealth.hscni.net/news/men%E2%80%99s-health-week-watch-your-waistline-%E2%80%93-belly-fat-danger. But this alone is not enough to prevent cardiovascular disease. The Health Belief Model, when applied to nutrition and hydration, indicates that people are more likely to follow a healthy diet and make changes to their lifestyle if they feel that failure to change would increase their risk of developing a serious disease; the benefits of the change outweigh the barriers faced due to the change; they place enough value in their life to make the change and they are prompted to make the changes https://www.utwente.nl/en/bms/communication-theories/sorted-by-cluster/Health%20Communication/Health_Belief_Model/

The theory of planned behaviour http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/074959789190020T addresses three aspects: the attitude, the subjective norm and the perceived behavioural control. The attitude is the values and judgement we hold about a healthy diet. The subjective norm refers to what is important to the patients’ family and friends. Perceived behavioural control is how much control the person believes they have over their ability to keep to a healthy diet i.e. whether or not they have the skills or resources to succeed.

These models assume all behaviours are based on conscious thoughts but people may not think of the ill effects to their health every time they eat an unhealthy meal. Many health related behaviours are used as coping mechanisms and when you get rid of the behaviour, this may result in an increase in stress levels. The change is therefore more likely to be unsuccessful. Perception of control should be increased to help people feel empowered and more likely to succeed. Those who take part in unhealthy eating may already understand the dangers of eating unhealthily and may already have ill health due to eating unhealthily but they enjoy the food and so continue. This can cause upset in an individuals’ mind known as cognitive dissonance. Nurses can use this to persuade the individual to make a change.

A good way of introducing the concept of change to the individual is by brief intervention. Brief intervention has been shown effectively when dealing with alcohol addiction within the primary care sector (Kaner et al, 2009). Minimal intervention is an opportunistic process where the health professional attempts to find out how the service user feels about the behaviour, challenge the persons’ views on eating healthy and helps them to weigh up the pros and cons of the a healthy diet. The main aim is to get the individual to engage cognitively about the behaviour. When linked up with the stages of change, the person moves into the contemplating stage of change and is more likely to change their behaviour and sustain change.

Nurses can help prevent cardiovascular disease by promoting a healthy diet and hydration. Brief intervention can introduce people to a new concept in a short time and has been proven to be effective. Further help could be offered by combining the Health Belief Model with the Theory of Planned behaviour. Within this, views should be challenged, coping mechanisms and perception of control examined and advice given, barriers identified, social networks and context discussed and the benefits reiterated. This should be a positive experience, leaving the individual empowered. Cognitive behavioural therapy may also be adapted and has been shown effective in preventing acute myocardial infarctions (Gulliksson, 2011).

References

Kaner EF.S., Dickinson HO, Beyer FR, Campbell F, Schlesinger C, Heather N, Saunders JB, Burnand B, Pienaar ED (2009) ‘Effectiveness of brief interventions in primary care populations’ The Cochrane Collaboration [Online] Available at: http://www.cochrane.org/CD004148/ADDICTN_effectiveness-of-brief-interventions-in-primary-care-populations (Accessed: 20/04/2015)

Gulliksson M, Burell G, Vessby B, Lundin L, Toss H, and Svärdsudd K. (2011) ‘Randomized Controlled Trial of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs Standard Treatment to Prevent Recurrent Cardiovascular Events in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease: Secondary Prevention in Uppsala Primary Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond the Sleeping Pill: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia

11 Jun, 17 | by rheale

Contributed by Roberta Heale, Associate Editor EBN, @robertaheale, @EBNursingBMJ

There’s not a more frustrating than tossing and turning all night.  However, between 30-50% of adults identify ongoing sleep disturbances.  While restless sleep once in a while is a nuisance, insomnia is a different story. It can be a significant problem particularly with older adults who are at higher risk of depression, falls, stroke, decline in cognitive and overall functioning.  The risks are exacerbated when mixed with sleeping pills which, themselves, increase the risk of falls, fractures and mortality. 1

So what is there to offer a patient other than medication?  Turns out, a lot.  One treatment is showing great promise, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy-Insomnia, or CBT-I.  Using the same exploration of the interactions between thoughts, emotions and behaviours, the focus is on sleep.  Sleep patterns, sleep hygiene, anxieties and thoughts that run through a patient’s mind at night are addressed.  CBT-I requires a commitment from the patient to make changes to their routines and practice the techniques that are offered, however, the outcomes can be very good.

One study, reviewed in a commentary in the EBN journal, identifies the usefulness of CBT-I.  Check out: Cognitive–behavioural therapy for insomnia is effective, safe and highly deployable http://ebn.bmj.com/content/early/2017/04/12/eb-2016-102523  Encouragingly, although training is required to deliver CBT-I, but one does not need to be a healthcare professional to provide CBT-I therapy, which adds to the potential of this treatment.

Sleep permeates every part of our lives.  With so many adults struggling with insomnia, CBT-I is an encouraging, positive, non-pharmacological option.

1. Alessi  C, Martin  JL, Fiorentino  L, et al. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia in older veterans using nonclinician sleep coaches: randomized controlled trial. J Am Geriatr Soc 2016;64:1830–8.

 

International Council of Nurses Congress – Using Social Media to Engage with Nurses

21 May, 17 | by josmith

Roberta Heale (@robertaheale) & Joanna Smith (@josmith175) Associate Editors, EBN

We are presenting how Evidence Based Nursing (EBN) is using social media to engage with nurses at the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress, being help at the end of May 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. Nurses across the globe will be exploring nurses’ roles in leading the transformation of care, & is an opportunity for nurses to build networks, share & disseminate nursing practices across specialties, cultures & countries, http://www.icnbarcelona2017.com/

The ICN ams to

Demonstrate & advance the nursing contribution to informed & sustainable health policies;

Support nursing’s contribution to evidence-based healthcare & encourage problem-solving approaches to health priority needs:

Provide opportunities for an in-depth exchange of experience & expertise within & beyond the international nursing community.

We are excited to be representing the work of EBN at the ICN Congress, and networking with peers. Although the journal’s main purpose is to publish expert commentaries on current research that is relevant to nursing, over the last few years EBN editors have implemented a social media strategy to increase engagement with our readers, their access to evidence for practice & awareness of important health issues. We will be sharing our social media strategies that include:

  • Posting regularly on our Facebook @BMJNursing & Twitter account @EBNursingBMJ;
  • Hosting fortnightly Twitter Chats which are linked to a new Opinions article series relating to discussing participants’ key messages during the Twitter chat;
  • Publishing weekly blogs (http://blogs.bmj.com/ebn/);
  • Recording podcasts with authors of commentaries to expand & debate in more depth issues raised in the commentary.

Caring for agitated patients

14 May, 17 | by josmith

This week’s EBN Twitter Chat on Wednesday 17th May 2017 between 8-9 pm (UK time) will focus on caring for agitated patients and is being hosted by Angela Teece (A.M.Teece@leeds.ac.uk), Trainee Lecturer in
Adult Nursing, University of Leeds @AngelaTeece and Sam Freeman (samantha.freeman@manchester.ac.uk) Lecturer in Adult Nursing, University of Manchester Twitter @Sam_Freeman.

Participating in the Twitter chat requires a Twitter account; if you do not have one you can create an account at www.twitter.com. Once you have an account, contributing is straightforward. You can follow the discussion by searching links to #ebnjc, or contribute by creating and sending a tweet (tweets are text messages limited to 140 characters) to adding #ebnjc (the EBN Twitter chat hash tag) to your tweet, this allows everyone taking part to view your tweets.

What is an agitated patient? It could be a patient who is restless, kicking their legs over the bed rails or refusing to lie still. Or maybe it is the patient who repeatedly flicks off the saturation probe, causing the machine to alarm. Or do you see an agitated patient as one whose behaviour risks serious harm to themselves or you as their nurse? The underlying causes for admission to critical care areas is vast. The commonality is the individual is experiencing illness so severe they cannot be managed elsewhere and require drastic intervention. The admission can be traumatic and potentially life altering event. Delirium, which is common amongst intensive care (ICU) patients, can present as extreme agitation, and lead to poor compliance with essential therapies and rehabilitation (Collinsworth et al., 2016). Awakening from sedation or withdrawal from alcohol and drugs may also lead to agitated behaviour.

Management of agitation is dependent upon the severity of the problem and the clinical area where the patient is being nursed. A restless patient might require extra supervision, particularly at night when staffing and patient visibility is poor. Such patients benefit from regular reorientation. In ICU, agitated patients are at risk of removing essential devices, such as central venous catheters, potentially causing serious harm or death (Mion, 2008). In more severe cases of agitation the management approach may be either sedation (chemical) or physical restraint, such as cuffs or ‘boxing gloves’. Management of agitated patients presents many issues for nurses in terms of staff morale, resource management and patient safety. Nurses might be concerned about the ethical issues underpinning the use of restraint. A recent court case highlighted that sedation cannot be classed as a deprivation of liberty to critical care patients as they physical illness is restricting their freedom, rather than any sanctions imposes by the hospital. Howver the use and role of physical restraint in management of agitation in critical care was not clarified.

Freeman et al. (2015) sought the opinions of nurses in relation to the use of physical restraint and  found some nurses expressed discomfort about the use of physical restraint and needed more education and support regarding physical restraint use. The authors of this blog are currently involved in further research in this area and would welcome your responses and opinions in this week’s Twitter chat., which will focus on:

  • How do you feel about caring for agitated patients?
  • Have you experienced problems with patient agitation where you work?
  • Do you receive help when managing agitated patients?
  • Do you use restraint?

https://medhealth.leeds.ac.uk/profile/1100/1715/angela_teece

https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/Samantha.Freeman.html

COLLINSWORTH, A. W., PRIEST, E. L., CAMPBELL, C. R., VASILEVSKIS, E. E. & MASICA, A. L. 2016. A Review of Multifaceted Care Approaches for the Prevention and Mitigation of Delirium in Intensive Care Units. J Intensive Care Med, 31, 127-41.

FREEMAN, S., HALLETT, C. & MCHUGH, G. 2015. Physical restraint: experiences, attitudes and opinions of adult intensive care unit nurses. Nurs Crit Care, 21, 78-87.

MION, L. C. 2008. Physical Restraint in Critical Care Settings: Will They Go Away? Geriatric Nursing, 29, 421-423.

Seeing the Wood and the Trees: Using Construal Level Theory to see what Proxy Decision Makers are thinking about

23 Apr, 17 | by josmith

Helen Convey. Lecturer in Adult Nursing, School of Healthcare, University of Leeds

Individuals who are living with dementia and who lack decision making capacity require proxy decision makers to make decisions for them. Individuals may express their interests and desires through behaviour and verbal communication, however, memory loss results in a lack of psychological continuity between the past and the present self. When there is a conflict between the individual’s past values and interests and their present values and interests proxy decision makers encounter an ethical dilemma. The aim of this feasibility study was to explore the potential use of Construal Level Theory (CLT) as a way of analysing the thinking of proxy decision makers where this conflict occurs.

CLT (Liberman and Trope, 2014; Trope and Liberman, 2010) contends that people use mental construal to traverse psychological distance and to think about choices, alternatives and perspectives in different dimensions; temporal, spatial, social and hypothetical. In mental construal abstraction is used to move beyond direct, real experiences of the self, across psychological distance, to form a subjective view of an object or action. High-level construal is more abstract, central values receive attention. Low-level construal is concrete, detailed and contextualised.

Participants were given a scenario in one to one semi-structured interviews. They read the scenario and were asked what they were thinking and feeling. Thematic analysis was used to discover patterns of decision making. Participant responses within the themes were then analysed for abstractness of language using the Linguistic Category Model (Semin and Fiedler, 1991). Participants were found to travel across psychological distance to think abstractly about the person in the scenario. They used mostly abstract thinking to establish central values and beliefs and mostly concrete thinking to express pragmatic concerns. We concluded that CLT can be used to analyse the thinking of proxy decision makers.


References:

Liberman, N. and Trope, Y. 2014. Traversing psychological distance. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 18(7), pp.364-369.

Semin, G.R. and Fielder, K. 1991. The Linguistic Category Model, its Bases, Applications and Range. European Review of Social Psychology. 2(1), pp.1-30.

Trope, Y. and Liberman, N. 2010. Construal-Level Theory of Psychological Distance. Psychological review. 117(2), pp.440-463.

 

 

To tell or not to tell? Honesty and hope in cancer nursing.

19 Mar, 17 | by dibarrett

Jan Hunter, Lecturer in Nursing, University of Hull

In the rather paternalistic past of the NHS, the established wisdom was that ‘doctor knew best’. If it was deemed a patient didn’t need to know they had a poor prognosis, then they didn’t find out (unless they had the wherewithal to put two and two together, or the audacity to ask outright). Thankfully, we are moving away from the days of selectively withholding information, with candour and truth-telling now at the centre of patient care. Nurses – with their ability to forge strong bonds of trust with patients – are well-placed to act as leaders in the discussion of disease progression and prognosis. Though this cements the place of nurses as autonomous practitioners, it also requires us to face one of the key challenges in cancer care: how do we balance truth-telling with the desire to reduce distress and give hope to patients and carers?

In some patients, there may be a temptation to try and ‘soften the blow’ of bad news. For example, a measured disclosure of bad news over time may be deemed the most appropriate approach in patients we judge to be vulnerable or those we perceive to have a lower ability to cope. Superficially, holding back some information might be viewed as nothing more than a ‘white lie’ to protect patients and help prepare them for bad news. However, no matter how well intentioned, making judgements on when to offer full disclosure may serve to undermine the bond of trust between a patient and nurse.

more…

Recognising, Assessing and Managing Deteriorating Adult Patients

20 Nov, 16 | by josmith

By Gilberto Buzzi Senior Lecturer, School of Health and Social Care / Institute of Vocational Learning | London South Bank gilberto-buzziUniversity e-mail: buzzig2@lsbu.ac.uk

When patients are admitted to hospital, the expectation is that they entering a place of safety. Their families, relatives and friends trust that once in the hands of healthcare professionals, their loved ones are not only going to find comfort but also receive the best treatment possible. Patients trust they will be looked after by competent and confident nurses who will prevent their situation from getting worse, and in the event their condition deteriorates, that they will indeed manage it effectively. Sadly, this is not always the case. Hospital mortality statistics have been linked to staff failures to identify or manage early signs of deterioration.

Recognising and responding to deteriorating hospitalised patients is an important global issue in nursing. By closely monitoring changes in physiological observations and interpreting early sings of physical and psychological decline, nurses are more likely to identify, manage and therefore avoid serious adverse events before they occur. The National Early Warning System (RCP, 2012) has been introduced to help address this issue. The system is based on objective physiological parameters being scored according to the amount of deviation from normal. The scores are weighted depending on the severity of deviation.  screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-17-37-47
The aggregate score is then calculated and acted upon accordingly. As with everything, the tool is only as good as the professional using it. Therefore, all nursing staff caring for patients in acute hospital settings must be competent in monitoring, measurement, interpretation and prompt response to the acutely ill patient, appropriate to the level of care they are providing as supported by their code of conduct (NMC, 2015).

To be able to calculate accurate NEWS the following should be assessed and documented.

  1. RR (respiratory rate) Record rate on every set of observations (RR is an early indicator of clinical deterioration.
  2. Oxygen Saturations (SpO2) Oxygen saturation should be measured by pulse oximetry.
  3. Temperature (Internal body temperature is preferable over axilla).
  4. BP (Systolic blood pressure) in case of acute deteriorating or if automated machines giving an inaccurate or suspect reading then check with a manual sphygmomanometer.
  5. HR (heart rate) Palpate the pulse, assess rhythm and rate and volume.
  6. Level of Consciousness (AVPU – Alert, responds to Voice, responds to Pain or Unresponsive, is a quick and easy method to assess level of consciousness. Change in consciousness is another sensitive indicator of clinical deterioration.

more…

The challenges of embedding spirituality into acute healthcare settings

2 Oct, 16 | by josmith

This wescreen-shot-2016-09-23-at-12-50-34ek’s EBN Twitter Chat is on Wednesday 5th October between 8-9 pm (BST) and will be hosted by Dr Janice Jones (@JaniceJ6873404) senior lecturer in the Institute of Vocational Learning, London South Bank University,

Wilf McSherry, Professor in Dignity of Care for Older People School of Nursing and Midwifery, screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-12-51-43Staffordshire University, The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, UK; Part-time Professor VID Specialized University (Haraldsplass Campus), Bergen, Norway (@WilfredMcSherr1), and

Dr JIMG_0206oanna Smith (@josmith175) lecturer in Children’s Nursing, University of Leeds. The chat will focus on the challenges of embedding spirituality into acute healthcare settings.

Participating in the Twitter chat requires a Twitter account; if you do not already have one you can create an account at www.twitter.com. Once you have an account, contributing is straightforward. You can follow the discussion by searching links to #ebnjc, or contribute by creating and sending a tweet (tweets are text messages limited to 140 characters) to @EBNursingBMJ and add #ebnjc (the EBN Twitter chat hash tag) at the end of your tweet, this allows everyone taking part to view your tweets.

Cultural, religious and spiritual beliefs influence how an individual makes sense of the world, often shaping their experiences. During acute or life-threatening illness drawing on these beliefs can provide comscreen-shot-2016-09-23-at-12-48-12fort, strength and support and often assume greater importance in times of stress. Spirituality can foster the development of coping strategies during acute illness where there is often a search for meaning and purpose in response to changing circumstances. 1 There is increased recognition that individual beliefs such as faith and hope can impact on the healing process, usually enhancing, but sometimes hindering, recovery. Incorporating spiritual care into practice helps health professionals to understand patients’ perspectives, and has the potential to increased patient satisfaction with care delivery.

Meeting the spiritual beliefs of patients in acute health care setting is challenging because of the increased demands on acute care services and meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse populations. Traditional working practices must adapt and respond to change yet ensuring patients are treated with respect, dignity and compassion remain fundamental to the provision of holistic, person-centred care needs to respect the patient’s cultural, religious and spiritual needs. 2 Spiritual care matters because it focuses care delivery on the individual, and recognises and utilises patients’ own resources, strengths, aspirations, hopes and experiences.3

Question to think about in advance of the Twitter Chat:

  1. What are your experiences of supporting patients in meeting their spiritual needs in acute healthcare settings?
  2. How can health professionals working in acute healthcare settings can practice holistically to address their patients’ spiritual needs?
  3. Lack of preparation to address the spiritual needs of patients is often cited as a barrier to implementation. What are your experiences of pre registration preparation or CPD opportunities to enhance your understanding of spirituality?
  4. How do you feel the wide range of dimensions relating to spirituality from religious and non religious perspectives relate to healthcare practice?

References

1Clarke, J. (2013) Spiritual Care in Everyday Nursing Practice. A New Approach. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan;

2McSherry, W., Smith, J. (2012) Spiritual Care. In McSherry, W., McSherry, R., Watson, R. (eds) (2012) Care in Nursing: Principles, values and skills. Oxford: Oxford University press;

3McSherry, W., Jamieson, S. (2013) The qualitative findings from an online survey investigating nurses’ perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 22, 3170-3318.

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