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

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

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

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

‘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

Shared decision-making: Where self-management and clinical expertise meet?

The rhetoric around self-management for people with long-term conditions recognises that they themselves are the most concerned and constant contributor to their own care and that what they know is an untapped resource. At the same time, professionals are being advised to share decision-making, but does this go far enough? For the person living with a long-term condition, part of their work is to manage relationships and interactions with an array of health professionals and other helpers – amongst them, nurses. Just as professionals look for interest and engagement from those they care for – whether identified as patients, clients, consumers, or service-users – that expectation is mutual. In this learning activity, we’ll look at what shared decision-making means, especially for people with long-term conditions.

You’re worth more than the crumbs! Keeping professionally healthy in 2013 and beyond

A large focus of health professional responsibilities involves encouraging consumers to adopt lifestyle practices aimed at achieving and maintaining good health. Despite providing consumers with well-rationalised and varied methods for promoting optimal health, many nurses are not heeding their own advice. Why do nurses fail to ‘walk their talk’ and what are some of the impacts of nurses failing to honour their own needs?

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.

Providing nursing direction and delegation with confidence, wisdom, and respect.

Direction and delegation are vital skills inherent within nursing practice, so why do many struggle to facilitate these effectively? This article and learning activity aims to help nurses to direct and delegate with confidence, wisdom and respect. By Noreen McLoughlin
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