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Change in Practice

Written by kimmel52 on January 8, 2013 – 9:51 pm


Change in practice assignment
nancy kimmel
November 16, 2014

Change in practice assignment
The purpose of this assignment is to address the problem of the development of pressure ulcers occurring in susceptible individuals during short terms stays in the hospital. Identifying those factors that put patients at risk and critically evaluate current nursing practices used on the floor, such as documentation, identification and current methods of prevention.
The Development of Pressure Ulcers during Short Term Stays
According to the National Guideline Clearing House, people of all ages are at risk of developing pressure sores based on the vulnerability of their current health status (“Target population,” 2011, para. 4). In the current work setting, almost all patients with limited mobility who cannot get out of bed by themselves and need to wear briefs or use the bedpan begin to develop a stage I pressure ulcer prior to discharge within 1 -2 days after hospitalization or short term emergency room stay. The hallmark of quality nursing care is excellent skin care (Wurster, 2007, p. 267). It is up to the nurse to lead the role in pressure ulcer prevention. The importance of this problem extends beyond the hospitalization stage. Those individuals who are discharged with stage 1 pressure ulcers do not always have properly trained family members to care for them thereby preventing the stage 1 from getting worse. For many of the elderly patients, pressure sores are a common health problem particularly among the physically limited or bedridden and without proper treatment can remain for the duration of the persons life (Jaul, 2010).
The incidence of pressure sores has increased by 63% between the years of 1993 to 2003 in hospitalized patients(Wurster, 2007). The nurse is responsible for targeting the care that these patients need to receive to prevent pressure ulcer development. Coordinating staff to work as a team is currently lagging in the work place. The charge nurse does not follow up on the staff nurse notes, nor does the staff nurse follow up on the nurse aide tasks of turning the patients and providing nutritional supplements provided by their dietary orders. The assessment and management of pressure ulcers require a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach (Jaul, 2010, p. 313).
Practice Change
The proposed evidenced based practice change would begin by the identification of gaps in knowledge and practice of the treatment of pressure sores (Schmidt & Brown, 2012). This process would begin with a survey on current patients with pressure sores, identifying their dietary intake of protein, vitamin C and other nutritious intake such as flavored protein shakes and healthy snacks(Wurster, 2007). The survey would include verifying linen change frequency and adherence to turning schedules. Identification of vulnerable patients who have limited mobility, incontinence, dementia or are over the age of 65 (Jaul, 2010).
Staff RN’s current knowledge base on pressure sore prevention should be evaluated. This could be done by asking the RN’s to fill out a pressure sore prevention questionnaire. The nurse aides would also be asked to fill out a questionnaire on pressure sores, identifying patient’s comfort levels and the importance of a turning schedule. The questionnaires would also evaluate the level of communication between staff members and shift team members thus identifying communication gaps (Banning, 2005).
RN’s would be assigned to collect quantitative articles from credible databases such as CINAHL or the National Guideline Clearninghouse for best practices documentation literature review. A proposed meeting time and place would be agreed upon to review article research, wherein the credibility of the articles obtained would be determined. The articles requested would be those that meet the quantitative standards(Schmidt & Brown, 2012).
Articles that meet quantitative and or qualitative standards would be decided at journal club meetings. Best practices would include statistically significant data based upon population parameters, level of significance and positive outcomes. Identification of the RN’s role in delegation of duties to the nurse aide’s job of providing patient safety, comfort and importance of prioritizing the patient’s needs would be reviewed. Determining the importance of the lead RN and their responsibility to subsequent shift team leaders would be identified and discussed at team meetings.
Rewards, praise and recognition of the importance of team members plays a large role in facilitating change (Schmidt & Brown, 2012). The lead RN initiating the change in practice should be responsible for coordinating meetings and dissemination of data.
Evidence Supporting Proposed Change
Icek Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior states that behavior is influenced directly by intention to perform the behavior (Ajzen, 2011, p. 1113). The nurse in charge of the change process begins by creating a sense of urgency (Schmidt & Brown, 2012). Several studies done on nurses’ attitudes toward pressure ulcer prevention revealed that there were barriers and gap knowledge present within staff members.
The first study identified (Athlin, Idvall, Jernfalt, & Johansson, 2009) 30 RN’s as the sample. The setting included two hospitals and one community care facility. The instrument used to evaluate the RN’s attitude toward pressure ulcer prevention was a questionnaire. Variables that were identified included patient health status and vulnerability to the development of pressure sores, the health care structure variable that affect pressure ulcers and prevention. Findings of the research indicated that the knowledge of pressure ulcer prevention was present. However the ability to follow through with collaborative treatment was lacking. This knowledge gap was due to lack of staff, time and consistent prevention routines.
A descriptive cross-sectional study involving 77 RN’s and 77 Nurse Aides traversed six hospitals and six clinics (Kallman & Suserud, 2009, p. 336). The researchers used a 47 item questionnaire which included an 11 item attitude scale (Moore & Price, 2004). The research concluded that all RN’s and Nurse Aides had a positive attitude toward the prevention of pressure ulcers. Their inability to provide collaborative care stemmed from environmental factors such as lack of time and communication between staff members. Performance in the prevention of pressure ulcers was inadequate due to lack of teamwork, access to necessary preventative equipment and supplies and current work routines.
The necessity for increased knowledge regarding the prevention of pressure ulcers is evident across both studies as is the necessity for more staff, time and open lines of communication regarding the worsening status of the patients’ current condition.
Evaluating the Change
To identify whether or not a change is evident begins with the patient population and identification of a positive outcome. In this case it would be a decrease in the amount of stage 1 pressure sores not present at the time of discharge. In short term admissions the first step would be to do a thorough assessment of the patient and their risk for pressure ulcer development. Having collected relevant research data from articles and questionnaires, the lead RN would initiate the plan of action. Identifying team leader RN’s for each shift would ensure that the tasks for prevention of pressure ulcers are being followed through by the staff RN and the nurse aide. Having access to and providing the patient with adequate nutrition would be a priority for all staff (Jaul, 2010) Making sure that their over bed table is always within reach and that assistive feeding be followed through until the patient has finished eating. Frequent turning schedules are to be implemented on patients who are alert and oriented but do not ask for anything or turn on their call light (“Target population,” 2011) Nurse aides and nurses should always ask to reposition for comfort and explain why they are doing so for the patient’s own knowledge. Daily shift meeting should address those interventions taken on the patient’s that are vulnerable for pressure ulcers. Linen change each shift should be mandatory for patients at risk (“Target population,” 2011). Moisture frequency should be evaluated every hour for those who are incontinent of bladder or bowel. This can be done by assistive turning and inspection of the area per patient’s approval. Keeping patients’ involved in their own care is an important aspect of nursing. Self care helps the patient develop confidence and hope in their treatment.
Assuming that all criteria is evaluated with attention to where the knowledge gaps are evident and corrected and the RN’s and nurse aides are able to perform their required tasks, the outcome should be positive. Determining the where the problem with pressure ulcer prevention exists would in the responses from the RN’s and nurse aides. Once the problem is identified then the development of the plan of action would be developed as described above. Putting the plan of action into place requires that the change agent or the lead RN verify that everyone is staying on task. The lead RN can do this through a daily shift evaluation of the patients’ condition and through nurse charting notes. Communication between shifts is a common problem as is the continuum of care. Quality care is the key. Prevention of pressure sores is not that difficult when it becomes a common goal for all who are working on the floor. With the implementation of the described changes the resulting outcome should be positive.
Research has documented that there are knowledge gaps between staff members in the flow of care in the prevention of pressure ulcers. While pressure ulcers continue to be a problem in most healthcare institutions, there is hope in lessening their prevalence. This paper focused on the development of evidenced based practice to reduce the incidence of stage 1 pressure ulcers that develop with a few days after admission in short stay patients’. Evidence from research on the attitudes of nurses and nurse aides in regards to the prevention of pressure ulcers shed light on a common theme, that of a lack of communication and the consistency of care (Kallman & Suserud, 2009). Those interviewed stated that lack of knowledge, time and or access to necessary preventative equipment also exacerbated the patient’s condition. The proposed evidenced based change practice initiates a sense of urgency and provides a plan of action to help reduce the frequency of stage 1 pressure ulcers. The EBP change details how to begin the study and the methods to evaluate the study. Ensuring that the standard of care continues across all shifts requires communication between all shifts. A nurse leader can ensure that this takes place with proper team leadership on each shift. Rewarding and recognizing those who are following the plan of care and going above and beyond ensures that the plan will continue to have positive outcomes for the patient.

Ajzen, I. (2011). The theory of planned behaviour: Reactions and reflections [Magazine]. Psychology and Health, 26, 1113-1127.
Athlin, E., Idvall, E., Jernfalt, M., & Johansson, I. (2009). Factors of importance to the development of pressure ulcers in the care trajectory: Prectptions of hospital and communcity care nurses [Magazine]. Jouranl of Clinical Nursing, 19, 2252-2258.
Banning, M. (2005, April). Conceptions of evidence, evidence-based medicine, evidence-based practice and their use in nursing: independent nurse precribers’ views. [Magazine]. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 14(4), 411-417.
Jaul, E. (2010). Assessment and mnagement of Pressure ulcers in the elderly [Supplemental material]. Drugs & Aging, 27(4), 311-325. Retrieved from
Kallman, U., & Suserud, B. (2009). Knowledge, attitudes and practice among nursing staff concering pressure ulcer prevention and treatment-A survey in a Swedish healthcare setting [Magazine]. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 23, 334-341.
Moore, Z., & Price, P. (2004). Nurses’ attitudes, behaviours and preceived barriers towards pressure ulcer prevetnion [Magazine]. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 13, 942-951.
Pressure ulcer prevention and treatment guidelines. (2011). Retrieved from
Schmidt, N. A., & Brown, J. M. (2012). Evidence-based practice for Nurses appraisal and application of research (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning .
Wurster, J. (2007, September 1). What role can nurse leaders play in reducing the incidence of pressure sores? [Magazine]. Nursing Economic$, 25(5), 267. Retrieved from

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Pass The Nursing Entrance Test Reading Comprehension

Written by kimmel52 on October 23, 2009 – 7:29 pm

By Nancy l Kimmel RN Phd CHMM

How does one approach the reading comprehension section on the Nursing Entrance Test? Many for one are unprepared for the wealth of reading that is required and the computerized method of testing. It can be difficult for those who are not computer savvy to comfortably navigate from page to another and go back to re-read. Time is of course of the essence in taking any test. The questions are at best hard to assimilate due to the ambiguous nature of the way that they are asked. This can be a stumbling block for those who are not prepared before hand for the reading comprehension section of the Nursing Entrance Test. Read more »

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