Another ‘ah ha’ moment…

Stories are a great way to bring the importance of evidence to life. I remember a bit of a ‘ah ha’ moment in my nursing career. It’s a bit different than last week’s story and points to a lack  of evidence but has some similarities. I worked for many years as a renal nurse on a nephrology ward and saw many people admitted for a renal transplant. Some got turned away if they were a poor match to the kidney or someone else took priority. I clearly remember the disappointment of one girl who was being treated with peritoneal dialysis. She had arrived on the ward after a call to tell her that a kidney was available that matched her profile. She was asked to drain out her peritoneal fluid for a sample to be sent to the lab to check that she was infection free. When the fluid drained out it was clear that she had developed peritonitis and she was not in a position to receive a transplant that day. She was devastated and I felt helpless. I decided to look at the evidence to see what impact being called to hospital for a renal transplant had on patients and I found very little literature. This led to me carrying out a small exploratory study (Noble, 2000)[1] on this topic as part of my BSc nursing. So some times the evidence isn’t there and this observation can inform the research that we go on to carry out in practice.

submitted by Dr. Helen Noble

[1] Noble H (2000) Experiences of patients called to hospital for a renal transplant. EDTNA/ERCA Journal 26; (1): 22-5.

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