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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common heart condition that needs expert management to avoid disabling outcomes such as strokes. This article updates you on the latest tools for assessing AF patients at risk of strokes and the side effects of the most common treatment – anticoagulants.
The term delirium comes from the Latin word deliriare – literally "to jump out of the furrow while ploughing". This sudden and acute temporary change from the normal is now commonly associated as a problem of old age. How can you as a nurse apply evidenced-based knowledge on preventing and identifying delirium into your everyday nursing practice?