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Behind the Rituals

Why do you do the things you do? How much of nursing practice is based on ritual and myth and how much on sound evidence? If you have a ritual you’d like to discuss here, email

All posts by Rachel Purkett

Should hospital patients routinely administer their own medicines?

Posted by Rachel PurkettMon, 25 Jul 2011

Would hospital patients benefit if those who were able were allowed to administer their own medicines? What do you think?Expert comment

Do patients really need to fast before surgery?

Posted by Rachel PurkettTue, 5 Jul 2011

Patients have long been told not to eat or drink for hours before surgery because of the risk of pulmonary aspiration, but is this really necessary?Some studies have suggested that light meals and liquids are not harmful before surgery, and that fasting can sometimes cause adverse effects, but many guidelines continue to insist on complete fasting.What do you think?

Why do we wear face masks in theatre?

Posted by Rachel PurkettMon, 27 Jun 2011

Is wearing face masks in theatre a necessity, or is it just something we do? Do they protect patients and practitioners, or do they offer little benefit, as some studies have suggested?What do you think?

Are drug rounds necessary?

Posted by Rachel PurkettTue, 31 May 2011

Why do we do drug rounds? Are they really the safest system for administering medications, or should drugs be given at the same time as other elements of care?What do you think?

To glove or not to glove?

Posted by Rachel PurkettWed, 25 May 2011

Are gloves overused in healthcare settings? Is there evidence to support their frequent use?When do you think gloves should be worn, and when do you think it’s not necessary?Let’s get a discussion started - post your thoughts below.Behind the RitualsIs there another nursing ritual you’d like us to discuss here? Email your idea to