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Tracheostomy patient care

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VOL: 97, ISSUE: 25, PAGE NO: 34

Hilary Harkin, BSc, RGN, is ENT nurse practitioner at Guy's & St Thomas's Hospital, London

Claudia Russell, DipNurs, RGN, is tracheotomy specialist nurse, Addenbrooke's NHS Trust, Cambridge

Hilary Harkin, BSc, RGN, is ENT nurse practitioner at Guy's & St Thomas's Hospital, London

As a result of the increasing number of tracheostomies being performed, patients are often discharged to a general ward with a tube in place.

It is vital that nurses know how to care for these patients because inappropriate or inadequate care is associated with increased morbidity and mortality (Heafield et al, 1999).

With the current focus on clinical governance, nurses working in all specialties should be competent to provide tracheostomy care. The following pictorial guide has been developed to educate and support staff in providing evidence-based care. Although the importance of psychological care cannot be underestimated, this guide focuses on the physical aspects of care.

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