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New guidance for frontline nurses on treating TB

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New guidelines on treating patients with tuberculosis have been published by the International Council of Nurses.

The guidance – titled Care and Control of Tuberculosis and Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis – is intended to be a “comprehensive guide for the busy nurse”, said the ICN.

“These new TB guidelines are an important resource for nurses on the ground”

Frances Hughes

The document, published this month, updates previous versions of the guidance, which is intended to help nurses in detecting TB cases, providing care and managing treatment.

It provides a review of TB and multi-drug resistant TB, as well as an overview of organisational issues that can have an important impact on TB control programmes.

It also sets out a nursing approach to planning and delivering patient care, aimed at improving access and quality of care throughout the treatment period, noted the ICN.

The council noted that TB had reached “epidemic proportions” in many parts of the world. “Roughly three million nurses work or are registered in the 22 countries where 80% of TB cases are found,” it said.

“In most of these countries nurses are the primary healthcare provider, and often the only source of care, though they often work in deficient systems, with poor access to adequate training, supplies and resources,” it added.

Dr Frances Hughes, chief executive of the council, highlighted that nurses were “crucial” in the prevention, detection and treatment of TB.

“These new TB guidelines are an important resource for nurses on the ground,” she said, adding that they would help “strengthen nursing competence in tackling this growing epidemic”.

The ICN is a federation of more than 130 national nurses’ associations, though it currently has no UK member following the withdrawal of the Royal College of Nursing.

It noted that the new publication was supported in part by a grant from United Way Worldwide made possible by the Lilly Foundation on behalf of the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership.


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