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Jenni Middleton, editor
'Will measuring care hours cost us more?'
The Nursing Times Revalidation Conference aims to prepare you for the imminent changes to how all nurses re-register with the NMC.
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14 February, 2016 0:13 am
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12 February, 2016 11:32 am
A “more nurses” bill has been passed by the Welsh Assembly, leaving it only needing the relative formality of royal assent before it becomes legislation.
A self-professed nurse geek, Anne Cooper has influenced many important advances in NHS technology
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10 February, 2016 1:49 pm
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Those of us who have worked in continence for years could feel a little cynical at the publication of NHS England’s guidance Excellence in Continence Care at the end of last year.
9 February, 2016 11:36 am
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Visit the revalidation zone
Barts Health NHS Trust enters into partnership with Nursing Times to support its 5,000 nurses through revalidation
11 February, 2016 7:00 am
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More blogs from student nurses
I feel a bit naughty for saying that I wish to work in a different setting than a hospital.
10 February, 2016 0:00 am
4 February, 2016 0:00 am
From April this year, the number of “care hours per patient day” delivered by nurses and healthcare assistants should become the principal measure of hospitals’ use of nursing staff.
Posted by Nadine Woogara
It’s the most common sampling method in the UK, but does it have clinical value? Does moistening the swab increase bacteria survival in the wound? Is routine swabbing helpful?
Anonymous12 July, 2011 2:17 pm
good topic - v. interested to hear what people say about this
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Anonymous14 July, 2011 9:55 am
I think we do it and don't question why we do it routinely
Debra Smallbone15 July, 2011 4:34 am
Good question and, as a student has made me think. Agree with other reader, that it is something nurses do and dont question. Surely, though wound swabbing, (apart from screeening), is normally undertaken when wound shows some sign of infection?
Richard White16 July, 2011 1:19 pm
This, together with many other wound infection-related issues, is of fundamental importance to best practice. I strongly recommend that all clinicians who regularly (or even only occasionally) encounter wounds, to make themselves aware of the current best practice for the topical management of wounds with antimicrobials. It is freely available from the Wounds-UK website:
Andrew Kingsley17 July, 2011 6:26 pm
The key point is that wound infection is a clinical diagnosis not a microbiological one. The swab result is a check method to see if correct antibiotics have been given based on the antibiotic sensitivities of the pathogens identified. Screening swabs may also identify MRSA or another ARO (Antibiotic Resistant Organism) which depending on local policy may need to be treated if identified. Excepting the occasions when you are mandated to undertake a screening swab I agree with Debra S that you only take a swab when there are clinical signs of infection. There is much debate on how to take a swab with the common zigzag probably the most used though I am beginning to veer towards the Levine technique and am considering the value of its introduction to my organisation. Microbiology is as much an art as a science because the results require interpretation. Currently the understanding is beginning to shift from the single pathogen as cause of infection to the collective bioburden working as a whole to create infection but in current normal clinical practice settings in the UK we are still taking the traditional approach. Critically colonised wounds need debridement and topical antimicrobials/antiseptics and do not normally need swabbing.
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