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Should nurses self-test equipment before using it?

  • Comments (5)

Involving patients in decision making requires expert knowledge and an understanding of patients’ perspectives. This week we report the results of a small study that aimed to assess the impact of self-testing on catheter evaluation by continence nurses. The authors found that almost half of the participants found self-testing intermittent catheters to be a useful experience and some of those who did not routinely self-test said they would do so in future. The study required ethical approval and risk assessment.  

What do you think?

  • Have you ever self-tested a product before using it?
  • What are the risk associated with self-testing?
  • What are the benefits?
  • What other types of product could nurses usefully test themselves?
  • Comments (5)

Readers' comments (5)

  • Jane Brocksom

    Congratulations to the authors of this study..... A huge thanks from me.
    I just wish I'd written it,!
    I always self test intermittent catheters before promoting to patients, I think it's an essential part of my role, it brings me such a huge wealth of information and I feel I can speak honestly about products with an independent mind. I always advocate it to all HCP's I teach and always advocate this in my presentations 'try it thissen' as we say in Yorkshire.
    Obviously, I don't advocate testing of an Indwelling catheter and realise with in/out catheters there is not a great risk to health, not to sure what else I would advocate! To be honest.....
    I will be promoting this article now when I speak and teach

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  • Anonymous

    I am not convinced that actually experiencing what a patient is undergoing is always helpful. People are all different and so are their perceptions of pain and discomfort. Does having an easy, natural birth make it easier to understand a mother experiencing unbearable pain and fear during childbirth? Does inserting a catheter once or twice into yourself make you an expert on how a patient is going to feel doing the same thing continuously? It may make you feel you are better able to recommend a product, but does it actually make it better for the patient? What is next?

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  • Anonymous

    there is not obligation for somebody in good health to self test. there are always risks involved and if a patient has no other choice for the treatment then under the strictest conditions the risk to them is a measured one. the only think I have ever self tested was after many years to taste a spot on the end of my finger of potassium syrup and Duphalac as patients often pulled a face and it was sometimes hard to persuade patients to take it and I discovered why.

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  • Great idea to test things - makes you understand some of the fears and concordance issues there are out there

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  • Anonymous

    I have heard of some crazy suggestions in my time !

    Away you supporters go !

    Self test a sigmoidoscopy first !

    When that has been done I can suggest many other tests/procedures which should be self tested

    Lunacy !

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