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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

‘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

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

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.

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.

In pursuit of evidence: Your role in making research count in everyday practice

There’s a rather wonderful and instructive irony in the celebration of International Nurses Day – the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth – with the theme for 2012 of ‘Closing the gap: From evidence to action’. Nightingale represents anything but a gap between evidence and action. Described by her first biographer as a ‘passionate statistician’, she was not only a researcher and research user but also a designer of research graphics. Her successes in reforming military health services and standardising hospital statistics are exemplars of how to use evidence to drive improvements in practice. In this learning activity, we’ll explore our contemporary responsibilities and opportunities for bringing evidence to everyday nursing decision-making and actions.

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.
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