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Putting it into practice

All posts from: April 2012

How can action learning sets be used to support nurses?

30 April, 2012 Posted by: -

  • Article: How to use action learning sets to support nurses
  • Author: Mark P Haith is lecturer, School of Social and Health Sciences, University of Abertay, Dundee; Katrina A Whittingham is lecturer in nursing, School of Nursing, Department of Health and Social Care, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

Key points

  • Action learning sets involve peer-discussion groups working to resolve individual workplace issues
  • Benefits include enhancing communication skills and developing self-awareness and leadership skills
  • ALS is a dynamic and evolving group process
  • Similarities between clinical supervision and ALS suggest they are equally suited to developing professional standards in nursing
  • ALS could be used as a supportive tool to empower nurses in today’s challenging healthcare arena

Let’s discuss

  • How does you team receive clinical supervision?
  • What opportunities does your team have to get together and discuss their working lives?
  • After reading this article, describe how action learning sets could be used in your clinical area?
  • What are the potential benefits for staff?
  • Do you think there are barriers to using action learning sets? How could these be overcome?

How do you approach treatment for allergic rhinitis?

24 April, 2012 Posted by: -

Key points

  • Environmental changes influence pollen seasons
  • Rhinitis can be classified as allergic or non-allergic
  • Symptoms are debilitating and limit activity
  • Treatment should be started promptly
  • Rhinitis and asthma often coexist

Let’s discuss

  • Why are cases of allergic rhinitis increasing in the UK?
  • What questions would you ask patients who you suspect have allergic rhinitis?
  • How can allergic rhinitis affect performance at school and work?
  • What advice would you give students who experience seasonal rhinitis at exam time?
  • How would you explain the technique for using a nasal spray to patients?

Is online education beneficial?

16 April, 2012 Posted by: -

  • Article: Learning the lessons of moving education online
  • Author: Andrea Corbett is senior lecturer, School of Nursing, Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki, New Zealand; Simon Browes is honorary nurse researcher, Western Institute of Technology, and PhD research student, University of Nottingham.

Key points

  1. Many assumptions about online delivery are not borne out in practice
  2. Students need to be prepared for online study; this includes clarity about what is expected and required of them
  3. Course designers should explore if online learning allows things to be done differently
  4. Existing tutors should be involved in online course design
  5. Online courses shoud be underpinned with sound learning and teaching principles

Let’s discuss

  • What are the benefits of online learning?
  • How would you prepare to for an online course?
  • What support would you expect from lecturers providing an online course?
  • Do students perform better in assessments following online or face-to-face courses?

Comments (3)

How do you apply the NMC code to your practice?

13 April, 2012 Posted by: -


  • The ways in which the NMC code is a tool for all nurses in all situations
  • The key principles of the NMC code
  • Areas of development of the code, including emphasising the need for critical thinking, technology and evidence-based practice skills in students


  • The NMC code
  • Guidance
  • Professional conduct


The NMC code, the article explains, should be a framework for how nurses and midwives practise.  With its discussion of the key principles of the code and its five key points, this article makes the code more accessible.  You may also find the discussions of some of the specific guidances — like on the care of older people or on paper and electronic records — helpful.  


  • How do you understand the purpose of the NMC code? How do you apply it to your practice?
  • How can I remind myself of the key principles of the code in caring for my patients?


  • Evidence-based practice: the approach to care used by health professionals, which is based on the idea that practice should be determined by what research supports.
  • NMC Guidance: publications by the NMC on a specific concern that provide instructions on how to address that concern.  Examples include the guidance on record keeping and the guidance on the care of older people. 

How can staff provide resident-centred care in residential homes?

9 April, 2012 Posted by: -

  • Article: Caring for and caring about 2: implementing a care model for the older person
  • Author: Deidre Wild is senior research fellow (visiting), Sara Nelson is research fellow, both at the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of the West of England, Bristol; Angela Kydd is senior lecturer, University of the West of Scotland, Hamilton, Scotland; Ala Szczepura is professor of health services research, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry.

Key points

  1. Remedial care aims to maximise recipients’ independence, autonomy, abilities and quality of life
  2. The Caring For and Caring About model is weighted towards a remedial rather than protective approach
  3. The quality of interaction between caregiver and recipient will determine how, what and in which timescale remedial care can succeed
  4. Success depends on what the recipient and caregiver agree to commit to as an attainable improvement
  5. The decision about the appropriateness of the approach involves taking an informed direction that is consistently thought through

Let’s discuss

  • What are the main challenges to providing resident-centred care in residential and nursing homes?
  • What barriers exist to changing practice?
  • What leadership styles should care home managers adopt and why?
  • How can care home managers involve staff in exploring how care could be improved?
  • What strategies could care home staff use to change practice?

How will using ambulatory A&E care help to cut admissions?

2 April, 2012 Posted by: -

Key points

  1. Ambulatory emergency care is an area of growing interest
  2. A number of conditions can be safely and effectively managed outside hospital
  3. The system can improve patient experience and cut emergency admissions
  4. It can provide a rapid diagnosis and management plan
  5. Other benefits include better staff morale and cost savings

Let’s discuss

  • According to the article, one of the main benefits of the pilot AEC program is improved patient experience. What principles of AEC could be applied in caring for patients who require hospitalisation?
  • Why does AEC reduce readmissions?
  • Do the principles underpinning AEC help or hinder the role of the nurse in caring?
  • What steps could be taken to replicate the success of this pilot AEC project within your trust?


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