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Putting it into practice

All posts from: September 2011

What additional training do nurses need to carry out defibrillation?

29 September, 2011 Posted by: -

Key points

  • Most out-of-hospital cardiac arrests are caused by ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia. Electrical defibrillation is the only effective therapy for these.
  • Prompt defibrillation can achieve survival rates as high as 75%. The chances of success decline by around 10% with each minute of delay.
  • Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are sophisticated, computerised devices that deliver defibrillatory shocks to a person in cardiopulmonary arrest.
  • Before starting defibrillation, the patient’s chest should be exposed to allow correct placement of AED pads, and the chest should be dried if it is clammy or wet.
  • All healthcare staff should be trained, equipped, and encouraged to perform defibrillation. AEDs should be easily accessible and not locked away.

Let’s discuss

  • What additional training do nurses need to carry our defibrillation?

You might like to consider:

  • Does your current CPR training cover defibrillation and is this annual update adequate to ensure you are competent to carry it out?
  • How can you identify ventricular fibrillation (VF) or pulseless ventricular tachycardia
    (VT)?
  • Outline the procedure and safety precautions for defibrilliation.

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Are temporary ward staff cost effective?

19 September, 2011 Posted by: -

Key points

  • More than half of UK nurses do temporary work.
  • Wards with permanent staff only have less sickness absence and are better staffed.
  • Wards with permanent and temporary staff have a greater workload than those with only permanent staff.
  • Permanent staff-only wards have higher ward quality scores than those that also have temporary staff.
  • Ward managers should monitor temporary staffing and its effects.

Let’s discuss

  • Why do you think ward using agency and bank staff have lower quality scores than wards with permanent staff only?

To think about:

  • How do you introduce temporary staff to your ward? How do you know this is effective?
  • What strategies could you use to ensure temporary staff understand their role and
    responsibilities in your ward team?
  • If you work as a bank or agency nurse what advice would you give ward staff about
    introducing you to the ward and team?

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Comments (3)

Should registered nurses have their aseptic technique competency regularly reviewed?

19 September, 2011 Posted by: -

Key points

  1. The Health and Social Care Act (2008) requires healthcare providers to have a standardised aspetic technique in which education and audit can be demonstrated
  2. Aseptic technique represents the last line of defence for patients from microorganisms during invasive clinical procedures
  3. Aseptic Non Touch Technique is the de facto standard aseptic technique in the UK
  4. Safe aseptic technique relies on effective staff training, safe environments and equipment that is fit for purpose
  5. Basic infection prevention precautions, such as effective hand hygiene and glove usage also help to ensure asepsis

Let’s discuss

  • What does the term “aseptic technique” mean?
  • Why is non-touch technique important?
  • How can you achieve a standardised approach to aseptic technique in your trust?
  • Should registered nurses have their competency to carry out this procedure reviewed regularly?

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Comments (4)

How could you assess the impact of venous leg ulceration on a patient's quality of life?

5 September, 2011 Posted by: -

  • Article: Developments in venous leg ulcer management. Nursing Times; 107: 35, early online publication.
  • Author: Irene Anderson is senior lecturer, tissue viability, University of Hertfordshire; Susan Knight is Queen’s nurse and tissue viability specialist nurse, Milton Keynes Community Health.

Key points

  • Leg ulcers are complex wounds and should be managed by skilled practitioners
  • Factors such as age, obesity and co-morbidity can affect the effectiveness of treatment
  • A better understanding of the benefits of different compression materials is needed
  • Surgery may be appropriate for some patients
  • Quality of life is an important issue and patients’ needs should be taken into account

Let’s discuss

  • What is the role of obesity in the development of venous leg ulcers?
  • How could you assess the impact of venous leg ulceration on a patient’s quality of life?
  • What training and education do you think you need to manage venous leg ulcers effectively? When should you refer patients to a specialist service?
  • Outline why is compression therapy used to treat venous leg ulcers?

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