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Putting it into practice

All posts from: March 2012

Why are skin tears an increasing problem in tissue viability?

29 March, 2012 Posted by: -

Key points

  1. Skin tears usually occur in immature skin in neonates and in older people
  2. Evidence on their prevalence and incidence is limited and generally dated
  3. Nurses should be aware of the risk factors associated with skin tears and minimise risks to patients wherever possible
  4. Prevention should start with early identification
    of those at risk
  5. The most important aspect of assessment and management is to minimise further trauma and preserve viable tissue


Let’s discuss …

  • Why are skin tears and increasing problem in tissue viability?
  • How would you identify a patient who is at risk of skin tears?
  • Think about patients you care for who are at risk of skin tears. How could you minimise this risk?
  • How would you assess and manage a skin tear?

How do you ensure best practice in colorectal cancer care?

19 March, 2012 Posted by: -

  • Article: Taylor C (2012) Best practice in colorectal cancer care. Nursing Times; 108: 12, xx-xx.
  • Author: Claire Taylor is lecturer in gastrointestinal nursing, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing, King’s College London.

Key points

  • Some 40,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are dignosed in the UK every year
  • Risk factors for colorectal cancer include a high intake of meat and fat, smoking, lack of exercise and high alcohol consumption
  • Most colorectal cancers develop from benign polyps or adenomas and so can be detected before they become malignant
  • Accurate staging of the cancer will mean an appropriate treatment plan can be put together
  • Colorectal cancer treatment includes surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy

Let’s discuss

  • How do you ask patients about their bowel function when carrying out a routine assessment?
  • What signs and symptoms would indicate a risk of bowel cancer?
  • Patients aged 60-75 years are screened for bowel cancer every two years. How would explain the screening process to patients?
  • A recent NHS campaign has focused on patients’ embarrassment when talking about bowel function with health professionals. Why are people embarrassed to talk about their bowels and how can you help your patients to overcome these barriers?

How do you decide if new equipment will benefit patients?

12 March, 2012 Posted by: -

New equipment is constantly being developed and health care professionals have to consider whether products will be beneficial for patients and are cost effective.

Key points

  • There are complications and risks associated with traditional chest drainage systems
  • Digital drainage systems offer more accurate monitoring and a more scientific rationale for removal
  • Patient mobility is also improved due to the light weight of the drains
  • Using digital drainage systems after thoracic surgery is becoming accepted as a safe method for draining air and pleural fluid
  • Other patient groups may also benefit from digital drains

Let’s discuss

  • What questions would you ask about a new product before using it with patients?
  • How would you conduct a trial of a new product?
  • How would you involve patients in trialling new equipment?
  • How should you work with manufacturers and suppliers when you are considering new equipment?

Is culture-specific care effective in improving diabetes management in the South Asian population?

5 March, 2012 Posted by: -

  • Article: Osman A, Curzio J (2012) South Asian cultural concepts in diabetes. Nursing Times; 108: 10, 28-32.
  • Author: Amina Osman is staff nurse, Nightingale Ward, Whipps Cross University Hospital Trust; Joan Curzio is professor of practice development, Faculty of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University.

We’re discussing this on twitter using #culturespecific

Key points

  1. People of South Asian origin are four times more likely to develop diabetes than other ethnic groups
  2. Those with type 2 diabetes also have a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease and renal problems
  3. Nurses should not make assumptions about understanding among South Asian people with type 2 diabetes
  4. Fatalism and strongly held cultural beliefs should not be seen as resistance to health education
  5. It is important for nurses to understand other cultures and how individuals relate to their own culture

Let’s discuss

  • Why are people with diabetes in South Asian community more likely to develop complications from their condition?
  • Is culture specific care effective in improving management of diabetes in this population?
  • How would you address commonly held beliefs that prevent South Asian people developing healthier lifestyles?

Imagine you need to organise a support group for people with diabetes from a South Asian community.

  • Who should you involve in planning and setting up the group?
  • How could you engage people and encourage them to attend?

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