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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.

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.

Skin tear rates: a quality of care indicator

Reading this article and completing this Nursing portfolios: a simple guide to competency self-assessment learning activity is equivalent to 60 minutes of professional development. This learning activity is relevant to the Nursing Council registered nurse...

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

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

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.

Think delirium: The role of the nurse in the prevention and detection of delirium?

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?

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.
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