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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

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.

Influenza vaccine and health professionals

Last year 46 per cent of district health board nurses got vaccinated against the flu – less than the 48 per cent average for all DHB heath workers. This article explores the debate around the value, ethics, and efficacy of health professionals getting the annual flu vaccination and looks at some of the statistics, research, and prevailing attitudes around the sometimes contentious topic. By Noreen McLoughlin

Change management: a classic theory revisited

Change management is fundamental to quality and improvement processes. It is also at the heart of leadership. Those implementing change need first to disrupt the status quo, secondly, to move everyone and everything involved to a new way of doing things, and finally, to ensure that the new practice and processes cannot change back to the former state. In this learning activity, we’ll revisit Lewin’s classic theory of planned change in the light of new thinking about resistance and readiness. By Shelley Jones.

Health literacy: patient-centered communication is still the answer

This article and learning activity looks at what health literacy means for nursing and finds that patient-centred communication is still the answer. It looks at core ideas in health literacy, and how it can be understood as an interactive and responsive process between consumers and providers of healthcare services. By Shelley Jones

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