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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: November 2013

Can you run a ward with one nurse at night?

Posted by Eileen ShepherdMon, 25 Nov 2013

Data obtained by the RCN via a freedom of information request found five hospitals from 18 trusts in the east of England had wards with only one registered nurse on duty. This was compared with their establishment of two registered nurses and one healthcare assistant.

Should we expect relatives to provide essential care in hospital?

Posted by Eileen ShepherdMon, 18 Nov 2013

I was talking to a nurse last week about workload on wards. She suggested that initiatives such as restrictive visiting and protected mealtimes prevent families from participating in the delivery of care and pointed to other countries where families are expected to provide care and food in hospital.

Could machines replace nurses?

Posted by Eileen ShepherdMon, 11 Nov 2013

Silicon Valley investor Vinod Khosla suggested that machines could replace 80% of doctors. He describes an average consultation with a GP as “a routine diagnosis with a standard treatment … something a computer algorithm could do if the treatment involved no harm, or at least do as well as the median doctor”.

What effect do urinary catheters have on patients' quality of life?

Posted by Eileen ShepherdMon, 4 Nov 2013

A research review published this week looking at patients’ experience of living with a catheter has described the effect these devices have on patients’ quality of live and intimate relationships and highlights the need to involve patients in decisions about their care.What do you consider when you select a urinary catheter?Do ...