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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: September 2013

Is the focus on compassion a red herring?

Posted by Eileen ShepherdMon, 30 Sep 2013

An emphasis on compassion could actually be dangerous to the NHS, according to a medical ethics expert.

Can you identify the signs of sepsis?

Posted by Eileen ShepherdMon, 23 Sep 2013

A study by the Health Service Ombudsman found shortcomings in initial assessment and delay in emergency treatment which have led to missed opportunities to save lives.

Do nurses need to be taught to introduce themselves?

Posted by Eileen ShepherdMon, 16 Sep 2013

Nurses and other frontline NHS staff are being asked to tell their patients their name, as part of a campaign launched by a terminally ill doctor on Twitter.

Can your patient wash their hands before eating?

Posted by Eileen ShepherdMon, 9 Sep 2013

Most of us were taught to wash our hands before a meal but how many patients confined to their bedside are given the opportunity to wash their hands before eating?Do you offer patients a hand wipe or bowl to clean their hands?Do you have time?

Do you ever sit on patients' beds?

Posted by Eileen ShepherdMon, 2 Sep 2013

I recently spoke to an experienced nurse who was reprimanded for sitting on a patient’s bed. She was looking after a person with dementia who was crying and sat on the bed so she could give her a hug.Is this a distraction from the real issue of ensuring staff clean their hands?