Atrial fibrillation: Nursing people whose hearts beat to a different and risky rhythm

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.

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?

Nursing journals: still a valued and time-honoured professional development tool?

Oh the joy of finding a well-written journal article that captures professional nursing interest, is relevant, includes robust research, and inspires positive evidence-based practice change! Despite being spoiled for choice with a plethora of nursing journals, do nurses recognise and use these as a means to advance their practice? This article will examine the actual and perceived value and role of journal articles as valid professional nursing development tools.

“I didn’t want that”: Assessing cultural needs during end-of-life care

Although cultural needs is a common component in many nursing assessment tools, it is not unusual to find this section left blank, especially in end-of-life care plans. This article explores the challenges associated with cultural needs assessment, and outlines strategies for ensuring the individual needs of patients and their families related to cultural care are identified and addressed.

Falls in older people: Ask, assess, and act

The Ask, assess, act process is based on strong evidence that addressing older persons’ individual risk factors for falling reduces falls. By using this process, nurses can identify older people at risk of falling, assess their risk factors, and plan interventions that will support their independence.

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

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

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?

Talking about safe practice: A way to look after yourself, your colleagues, and your...

In this learning activity, we’ll look at how every day talk contributes – and could contribute more – to safety for patients. 

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.

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From our latest print edition


Studying health sciences: A pathway to leading positive change

If there is one characteristic that unites the students studying the Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) at the University of Canterbury (UC) it is the passionate commitment to improving the lives of others, whether locally in the community, nationally or even globally. These students have the ambition; their degree gives them the opportunity to turn aspiration into action. Here are some examples of how a few students and graduates are doing it.