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Ignore the politics and take a good look at intentional rounding

  • Comments (9)

The principles underlying the approach are sound. Any system that guides the organisation of care to build a therapeutic relationship between nurses and patients has to be welcomed. An article by Gregory Dix published in this week’s Nursing Times outlines how IR has had a positive effect on care on a medical admission unit in his trust. It enabled nurses to be proactive rather than reactive, anticipate patients’ needs and find out what works for them. I don’t think there is much to disagree with.

The problem comes when intentional rounding is championed by policymakers who believe blanket adoption is a catch-all answer to the challenges facing nurses.

We only have to look back to the “named nurse” policy to see the pitfalls of this approach. In the 1990s, policymakers hijacked some of the organisational elements of primary nursing - that each patient would have their own nurses - and set a time frame for implementation. The philosophical principles of primary nursing were ignored and “Not my patient” became the slogan that epitomised the failure of this initiative in many hospitals. And we live with the legacy of this failed policy today.

The transcripts of the Mid Staffordshire inquiry has demonstrated that nurses need to reassess the principles that guide how care is delivered to patients. Intentional rounding is only part of the solution. The problems facing nursing are complex and sound bites suggesting there is one answer are foolish and - more worryingly - misleading to the public.

So, ignore the politics and take a good look at intentional rounding; it is a really useful tool. If it is not for your team - fine, but you need to be prepared to explain why.

Politicians are not qualified to tell you how to nurse but they do it anyway. We need to find a way to ensure the nursing forum is about nurses and their patients rather than politicians, otherwise I fear a repeat of the “named nurse”. Cosmetic change with no substance is time wasted.

  • Comments (9)

Readers' comments (9)

  • tinkerbell

    Sorry but we cannot ignore the politics, it is the very politics that is destroying our profession, telling us we can do more with less, privatising our NHS, asking us to work longer for less. They are the whipping boys grinding us to our knees and telling us that they know more about what we should be doing than we as nurses know who are actually doing it. What is happening to the nursing profession at the moment is an injustice. We will end up like America and other countries that put money before humanity. Where you can only receive decent healthcare if you are rich. Intentional rounding is very low on my list of priorities right now, we do it anyway without having to tick the box. We are in a fight right now & up to our necks in it and we are on the ropes. Everything else is academic if we no longer have a profession that can do its job properly to start with. We are being hung out to dry, give us the tools and we'll do the job, take those tools away and we are extinct. The tools are us!

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  • Anonymous

    "Politicians are not qualified to tell you how to nurse but they do it anyway. We need to find a way to ensure the nursing forum is about nurses and their patients rather than politicians, otherwise I fear a repeat of the “named nurse”. Cosmetic change with no substance is time wasted."

    too right. we need to unite and use our force of knowledge power to find fundamental ways to do our job in delivering the best possible care to our patients and fight the politicians off our backs. how can Cam possibly come onto an immaculate ward to shake hands with a few friendly and smiling nurses and patients for a few minutes and tell us how we should do our job. maybe we could reciprocate and go to question time and tell him how he should be doing his!

    we are a profession and with other hc professionals and and the public we decide how to best to look after our patients and nobody else!

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  • tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 17-Jan-2012 8:56 am

    Here, here. That's the spirit.

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  • Anonymous

    I remember the 1980s when as the nurse in charge I did 3 rounds per shift. It meant I spoke to every child and family daily and was up to date with problems and knew about care and vital signs etc.

    Now the nurse in charge asks staff to update a computer programme and reads it out at handover...

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous | 18-Jan-2012 2:34 pm

    does that mean the art of verbal communication has been lost?

    I just went to a supermarket and, not finding what I was looking for, asked a young girl filling the shelves who just pointed vaguely in the direction of where I would find it without uttering a word.

    Hardly the epitome of civility for somebody supposed to be serving the public, in my opinion!

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  • Anonymous

    Whether we work by 'intentional rounding' or named nurse the underlying principle is always, safe levels of staff will result in good, safe and effective care.

    Don't get lost in the distractions

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  • Are we so stupid that we are supposed to believe this is something new? It has always existed well as far back as i remember anyway, ok in the old days we called it the Back Round but same principle. Of course we were better staffed in those days....

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  • Anonymous

    good morning round
    wash round
    mouthcare round
    bottle round
    catheter round
    bed pan round
    wc visit round
    bed making round
    obs round
    tick box and chart filling round complete with clipboard
    breakfast round
    drug round
    iv round
    pa care round
    doctors' round
    morning coffee round
    bottle round
    etc. rounds as above
    lunch round
    drug round
    feed the patient round
    etc as above
    siesta round
    visitor round
    tea round
    etc as above
    supper round
    drug round
    settling down for the night
    drug round
    obs round
    as above with all the bottle, catether, bed pan
    wc visit round
    nursing is just a round of rounds 24 hours/day, 7 days/week
    I am sure I have left out quite a few rounds, but many are repeated and the list is getting rather long
    nurses can carry these out on any excuse
    what else does Mr. Cameron want?

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  • Anonymous

    I forgot the good night round!

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