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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 from: July 2011

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

Should nurses always be 'bare below the elbows'?

Posted by Nadine WoogaraMon, 18 Jul 2011

Should healthcare professionals always be ‘bare below the elbows’? Are long sleeves an infection risk?

Is wound swabbing evidence based?

Posted by Nadine WoogaraTue, 12 Jul 2011

It’s the most common sampling method in the UK, but does it have clinical value? Does moistening the swab increase bacteria survival in the wound? Is routine swabbing helpful?

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?