Peripheral IV cannulae (PIVC): Saving a line might just save a life.

It is estimated that over half of all hospital patients have an intravenous catheter inserted. Inserting peripheral intravenous cannulae (PIVC) is now a commonplace procedure; however, more can be done to reduce the risk of complications from these invasive devices. This article highlights the importance of meticulous care, maintenance and documentation of PIVC by nurses. By Beverley Hopper

Prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infections

Eight out of 10 healthcare-associated urinary tract infections are attributed to poorly managed indwelling urinary catheters. The longer the catheter remains in situ, the higher the risk for catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI). This article by Monina Gesmundo, Anna King and Lisa Stewart presents strategies that nurses can use to prevent CAUTI and promote patient safety. By Monina Gesmundo, Anna King and Lisa Stewart

‘Legal highs’ and mental health: raising nurse awareness

The use of novel psychoactive substances (NPS) or ‘legal highs’ is an emerging issue worldwide. There is rising concern around the risks of NPS and the detrimental effects on individuals’ mental health. How can you as a nurse identify and manage risks around NPS in your everyday nursing practice? By David & Bernadette Solomon

When we are all lost for words: nursing individuals with aphasia

The barriers to expressing and understanding language created by aphasia can be devastating for affected individuals and their family or whānau, and may result in a sense of helplessness for everyone concerned, including nurses. This article describes the nature of aphasia and its impact on communication and outlines strategies available to nurses to help individuals with aphasia to communicate. By Marian Bland and Lesley Batten

Lethal SCARs: Serious drug allergies and nursing

Drug allergies can range in severity from mild to life-ending. While we may be familiar with some severe allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, other reactions that are unpredictable and independent of the drug dose receive less attention, even though they may also be potentially fatal. This article briefly revisits types of serious drug allergies and presents a range of preventative nursing strategies. By Marian Bland and Lesley Batten

Think coronary artery disease and secondary prevention: The role of the nurse

Hardening of the arteries affects many New Zealanders and contributes to coronary heart disease being one of New Zealand’s leading causes of death. This article looks at the role nursing plays in supporting people with coronary artery disease to reduce their risk of a further cardiac event.

Hard-to-heal-wounds: could we do better?

Nurses encounter hard-to-heal wounds in all but a few areas across the nursing spectrum. This article discusses how these challenging wounds occur and looks at new ways to manage and heal them in the wake of fresh knowledge about their behaviour at a cellular level.

Preceptorship: grounding and growing the next generation

Historically the many traditions of nursing were learnt at the bedside as novice nurses worked alongside a more senior or experienced nursing colleague. Today’s nursing workforce relies on preceptors and mentors guiding beginner nurses in their building of knowledge and development of nursing reasoning. The focus of this article is an introductory look at preceptorship for the beginner (i.e. new graduate) nurse.

Enhancing pain management in aged residential care

Aged residential care facilities are currently home to approximately 30,000 older New Zealanders with complex health needs. Research reveals the need for enhanced pain management for residents, which has implications for nurses working in those facilities, acute care hospitals, and general practice. This article argues that effective, individualised pain management for older people requires the expertise of registered nurses together with well-developed institutional systems and processes.

Hospital visitors: visiting in our hospital or are we visiting in their lives

There is increasing evidence of the potential contribution that visitors can make to patient wellbeing and recovery. Although some district health boards in New Zealand have recently relaxed visiting hours, others have not. This article explores perspectives on hospital visiting and including visitors as valued members of the health care team. By Lesley Batten and Marian Bland.

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From our latest print edition


Studying health sciences: A pathway to leading positive change

If there is one characteristic that unites the students studying the Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) at the University of Canterbury (UC) it is the passionate commitment to improving the lives of others, whether locally in the community, nationally or even globally. These students have the ambition; their degree gives them the opportunity to turn aspiration into action. Here are some examples of how a few students and graduates are doing it.