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Putting it into practice

All posts from: August 2012

How can nurses manage C difficile relapses in the community?

27 August, 2012 Posted by: -

Key points

  • C difficile has significant morbidity and mortality; patients can deteriorate in the community if they are not monitored effectively
  • Monitoring symptoms is crucial to improving the outcome of patients
  • Contacting patients after discharge to offer support and advice can prevent readmission
  • The multi-disciplinary team needs to understand the cause, prevention and management of patients with the disease
  • Treatment and assessment can be carried out in the community by GPs with the multidisciplinary team

Let’s discuss

  • Why is it important to carry out a root cause analysis on all cases of C difficile in the community?
  • Why should patients discharged from hospital with a history of C difficile be followed up in the community?
  • Mr Green is 80 years old and lives alone. He has Parkinson’s disease and his mobility is poor. He was in hospital recently and had a C difficile infection and following discharge he has symptoms again at home. What practical problems will Mr Green have in the community? What advice and support would you give Mr Green? How could you use the algorithm described in this article in your clinical area?

How can nurses aid care of peripheral venous cannula sites?

20 August, 2012 Posted by: -

Key points

  • Peripheral venous catheters are commonly used in hospitals to deliver intravenous therapy
  • PVCs are associated with several complications, some of which can have serious consequences
  • Careful observation and monitoring are crucial to identifying complications at an early stage
  • Scrupulous hygiene and site management will minimise the risks of healthcare-associated infections
  • PVCs should be removed as soon as they become clinically unnecessary

Let’s discuss

  • What factors must be considered when selecting a site for peripheral venous cannulation?
  • How would you explain to a patient the reason for cannulation?
  • Outline the three types of phlebitis and their causes?
  • What factors should you consider when monitoring a patient with a peripheral venous cannula?
  • When should a cannula be resited?
  • How should you document care of peripheral venous cannula?

How can nurses raise awareness of hepatitis C?

13 August, 2012 Posted by: -

Key points

  • Many people are unaware of their hepatitis C virus infection due to its asymptomatic nature or non-specific symptoms
  • Diagnosis usually involves testing serum for both anti-HCV antibodies and HCV ribonucleic acid
  • Sharing equipment among injecting drug users is the most common route of infection in industrialised countries
  • This group is under-represented in testing and treatment programmes for HCV, despite being most at risk
  • The primary goal of therapy is to cure the infection and attain a sustained virological response

Let’s discuss

  • What you know about hepatitis C? If you need to update your knowledge, you may find this overview of the condition useful.
  • Why is it important to increase awareness of hepatitis C among the South Asian community?
  • The author of this paper found that awareness of hepatitis C was better in London than Bedford. How can this difference be explained?
  • What barriers prevent people from South Asian community coming forward for screening for hepatitis C?
  • After reading the article, what strategies would you adopt to raise awareness among this population?
  • Recent figures from HPA suggest a rise in the numbers of people presenting with liver damage as a result of Hepatitis C. How could this be prevented?

How can nurses help increase breastfeeding prevalence?

6 August, 2012 Posted by: -

Key points

  • The World Health Organization and Department of Health recommend exclusive breastfeeding for six months
  • Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of specific health problems in both mother and baby
  • Breastfeeding continuation rates in the UK remain among the lowest worldwide
  • An early intervention infant feeding service can provide vital support to mothers to boost breastfeeding prevalence
  • Easily accessible breastfeeding peer-support programmes are also recommended to help mothers maintain breastfeeding

Let’s discuss

  • How would you explain the benefits of breastfeeding to a new mother?
  • Why do you think mothers decide not to breastfeed?
  • When are mothers most likely to stop breastfeeding their babies? Why do you think they make this decision?
  • What support should be available to help mothers to breastfeed? How could you assess whether this support is effective?


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