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Putting it into practice

All posts from: August 2011

What aspects of a student nurse's care should patients assess?

30 August, 2011 Posted by: -

  • Article: Involving patients in assessment of students
  • Author: Linda Chapman is education lead (mentor), Royal United Hospital Bath Trust; Jayne James is senior lecturer, adult nursing; Kate McMahon-Parkes is senior lecturer, adult nursing; both at University of the West of England.

Key points

  • Patients’ perspectives on care are vital to improving the quality of NHS services
  • Patients occasionally give feedback on the way student nurses have cared for them, but usually in an ad hoc way
  • Developing a structured tool allows patients, carers and relatives to become part of the student nurse assessment process
  • Patients can evaluate communication, comfort, and treating individuals with respect
  • It is not appropriate to request feedback from some patients, for example those who are sedated or too ill

Let’s discuss

  • How can structured patient feedback help in student assessment?
  • How could patient feedback affect the relationship between the student and patient?
  • What aspects of a student nurse’s care should patients assess?
  • Could patient feedback be used to assess registered nurses performance?

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Comments (2)

Should outdoor activities be a treatment option for some patients?

22 August, 2011 Posted by: -

Key points

  • Poor physical and mental health is often related to modern lifestyles with a lack of exercise, poor diet, stress and isolation
  • Outdoor activities can help people relax, reduce stress and instil a sense of wellbeing
  • Exercising in a green space is more beneficial than forms that concentrate on exertion without considering the surroundings
  • Promoting outdoor activity could save money through fewer medical interventions, prescription drugs and hospital admissions

Let’ discuss

  • Do you agree outdoor activities should be a treatment option for some patients

Think about a patient you are caring for with a long-term condition:

  • How would you explain the benefits of outdoor activities to them?
  • What sort of activity would you encourage them to participate in?
  • How could you evaluate whether the activity has had a positive impact on their health?

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Do general nurses understand the needs of people with learning disabilities?

15 August, 2011 Posted by: -

  • Article: Making the right decisions for people with learning disabilities in hospital. Nursing Times; 107: 3,12-14
  • Author: Picton A

Key points

  • The principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 should be followed by all staff caring for people who may lack capacity to make healthcare decisions
  • Many people with learning disabilities can make healthcare decisions with support, such as the use of simple language and pictures, to communicate
  • A mental capacity assessment must be carried out to determine whether individuals have the capacity to make adecision, and before any decisions can be made on their behalf
  • The nurse or doctor is usually responsible for best-interests decisions, with input from patients’ families and carers
  • Health professionals should try to limit restrictions on patients’ families and carers
  • Health professinals shoult try to limit restrictions on patients’ rights nad freedoms y avoiding any form of restraint, unless it is in the patients’ best interests

Let’s discuss

  • Do general nurses understand the needs of people with learning disabilities when they are admitted to hospital with health problems?
  • In your experience, are people with learning disabilities are involved in decisions about medical treatment?
  • How would you assess whether a patient with learning disabilities has the capacity to make a decision about their medical treatment?
  • How would you explain a best interest decision to relatives and carers?

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Comments (1)

Does e-rostering improve management of staff time?

8 August, 2011 Posted by: -

Key points

  1. E-rostering technology records annual leave requests, staff shift preferences, sick leave, staff movement between wards, and staff skills. It can also hold information on medical supplies, and help make payroll systems more accurate
  2. E-rostering enables senior nurses to plan shifts well in advance and forecast staffing requirements, reducing reliance on agency staff
  3. It reduces the time senior nurses spend on administration, freeing up time for direct care
  4. The system makes shift allocation fairer, so is less divisive and more popular with staff
  5. It can help with incident planning and to ensure there is enough cover during particularly busy periods

Let’s discuss

  1. What problems do you have with traditional off duty? Think about incorporating requests, holidays, bank and agency staff.
  2. How could e-rostering improve management of staff time in your clinical area?
  3. How can e-rostering promote fairer off duty planning and improve staff morale?
  4. How would you explain the benefits of e-rostering to your team?

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Comments (7)

What value do specialist nurses add to care of patients in your ward, department or team?

1 August, 2011 Posted by: -

Key points

  • Since 2005-06, there has been a 465% increase in outpatient attendances at specialist nurse clinics – a rise of more 100,000 outpatients a year
  • Patients appear to value the services provided by specialist nurses; they are consistently rated better than those of other health professionals
  • The role and function of specialist nurses, services they provide and their effects should be described and measured accurately
  • Specialist nurses need to ensure that they have evidence their services are cost-effective and improve patient safety and services
  • The unique knowledge, skills and experiences of specialist nurses means they could play a vital role in commissioning

Let’s discuss

  • What value do specialist nurses add to care of patients in your ward, department or team?
  • What evidence could you use to demonstrate their value to managers or service commissioners?
  • Do specialist nurses have appropriate business skills to justify the services they provide?
  • Do you think specialist nurses are at greater risk of cuts in times of financial austerity than general nurses?

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Comments (5)

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