Behind the Rituals
All posts from: June 2012
Can nurses reduce health inequality?
Two recent studies have highlighted persistent problems with health inequalities in the UK.
A study presented at the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) conference identified that patients with bowel cancer living in the most deprived areas are 24% less likely to survive than more affluent patients. The researchers found that 9.6% of the most deprived patients died within 30 days of having surgery compared with 4.2% in the most affluent group. Patients living in poorer areas are more likely to die within five years of treatment.
Even though there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of deaths from coronary heart disease (CHD) in England, the improvement rates differ between the affluent and the deprived. Between 2000 and 2007, mortality rates among affluent people fell by 6.7% each year compared with 4.9% for those from the most deprived areas.
Should discharging a patient with an IV cannula in situ be designated as a never event?
A recent news story in Nursing Times Nurses reported that nurses have been disciplined with one suspended after the trust revealed a patient had been discharged with a cannula left in their arm.
The trust has declared the incident, which happened in early April, as a local “never event”.
A Never Event is a serious, largely preventable patient safety incident that should not occur if the available preventative measures have been implemented by healthcare providers. In most cases a Never Event is defined if the incident results in death or severe harm to patients.
Last year the Department of Health published an expanded list of 25 never events and information on these can be found on the links below.
Do nurses have time for reflective practice?
Reflective practice is defined as the process of making sense of events, situations and actions that occur in the workplace.
Although many nurse education programmes (leading to registration) include modules on reflective practice, organised opportunities to reflect are rare in the busy, pressurised world of frontline practice.
Reflective practice is a key skill for nurses.
Engaging in regular reflection enables practitioners to manage the personal and professional impact of addressing their patients’ fundamental health and wellbeing needs on a daily basis.
Should ward sisters/charge nurses have a first class honours degree?
A post-graduate course to fast-track “elite” nurses into ward management roles has been created by a partnership of trusts and universities in London.
A group of 15 candidates will be selected for the four-year course, which is due to begin in September. The scheme, believed to be the first of its kind in the NHS in England, aims to have graduates ready to go straight to a ward sister post. Only nurses with a first-class degree who graduate during the current academic year will be considered as candidates.
Students will cover 150 competencies over the four years, more than three a month. The course also involves six-month rotations through primary care, mental health, general and specialist hospital settings. Each student will be individually mentored by a director of nursing.