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Change in Practice

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

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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.
Summary
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.

References
Ajzen, I. (2011). The theory of planned behaviour: Reactions and reflections [Magazine]. Psychology and Health, 26, 1113-1127. http://dx.doi.org/110.1080/08870446.2011.613995
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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2702.2009.02886.x
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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111./j.1365-2702.2004.01086.x
Jaul, E. (2010). Assessment and mnagement of Pressure ulcers in the elderly [Supplemental material]. Drugs & Aging, 27(4), 311-325. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=19&sid=fcecb593-84bd-4598-81db-b92f5a4f8e60%40sessionmgr198&hid=102
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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6712.2008.00627.x
Moore, Z., & Price, P. (2004). Nurses’ attitudes, behaviours and preceived barriers towards pressure ulcer prevetnion [Magazine]. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 13, 942-951. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2702.2004.00972.x
Pressure ulcer prevention and treatment guidelines. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=25139&search=pressure+ulcers+during+short+term+stay+and+pressure+sores
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 http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=fcecb593-84bd-4598-81db-b92f5a4f8e60%40sessionmgr198&vid=11&hid=102


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Evidenced Based Practice as a Change Agent

Written by kimmel52 on January 8, 2012 – 10:03 pm

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Evidenced based practice as a change agent
nancy kimmel
November 4, 2014

Evidenced based practice as a change agent
Researching as a Team
Change begins with acknowledging a common problem and having the curiosity to research that problem in hopes of finding documented solutions(Schmidt & Brown, 2012). The BSN nurse is trained to be the agent of change(Video Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). The change agent should encourage nursing staff to participate in research regarding the problem at hand. This helps with building the teamwork ethic among staff. Assessing the literature requires a keen eye for gaps. Gaps, are what is known about a problem or if that problem has not been thoroughly tested(Schmidt & Brown, 2012, p. 69). Gaps also occur when there is only one or two case studies regarding a problem, insufficient information or lack of proven results(Schmidt & Brown, 2012, p. 69). For instance, a single study that only incorporates 50 test subjects, regardless of the strength of the statistical results is not sufficient evidence for evidenced based practice to be implemented. On the other hand, 20 or more similar case studies with strong statistical evidence to support the research question, would allow one to generalize the findings to a wider population(Schmidt & Brown, 2012, p. 69).
Practical Transition
Finding a solution to a problem as a group is a euphoric experience. However, taking that solution and putting into practice is a different matter. There are many pitfalls to the implementation of any new ideas or practice theories. Suppose the change that will take place requires a special device. This device costs money. The question is, will the hospital provide the financing for such equipment or supplies? All new protocol must be documented on the floors policy and procedure manual which utilization review must first approve. Hence, the red tape.
The Iowa Model for EBP (Evidenced Based Practice) is a systematic method for organizational change(Schmidt & Brown, 2012, p. 390) The Iowa Model diagrams the necessary steps to incorporate EBP in promoting better health care(Schmidt & Brown, 2012). The model provides a series of logical steps that assist the change agent in the decision making process.
Common Errors and Pitfalls
Not everyone is on the same page. The change agent should be sensitive to the fact that some nurses have no desire to engage in research, nor implement new care skills(Schmidt & Brown, 2012). Complex statistical evaluation and knowledge diffusion poses barriers to most practical nurses(Schmidt & Brown, 2012, p. 396). Change is a process that creates an alteration in a person or the environment(Schmidt & Brown, 2012, p. 397). While there is no exact answer how to implement change, theorists have suggested that preparation should be the first step(Schmidt & Brown, 2012). Beginning a journal club helps to engage others and encourages participation(Schmidt & Brown, 2012). The disciplined clinical inquiry model is helpful in structuring the journal club, by empowering nurses in clinical practice to consider the patient, clinical setting and resources(Schmidt & Brown, 2012, p. 399). Kotter’s eight change phases model is simple in design and begins with establishing a sense of urgency(Schmidt & Brown, 2012, p. 407).
Summary
While there is no one model fits all, the change agent should be aware of the important role they play in advocating change. Finding solutions to promoting better health care and positive patient outcomes is a responsibility of every nurse. Some nurses find that this is too much of a burden to bear in the context of their daily routines. Therefore the change agent needs to help with facilitating the process through preparation, empowerment of their staff nurses, encouragement and communication. Identification in the gaps of patient care is a team effort and all teams need a leader.

References
Huston, C. J. (2014). Collective Bargaining and the Professional Nurse. In Profesional issues in nursing challenges & opportunities (3rd ed., pp. 19-23. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a Wolters Kluwer business.
Schmidt, N. A., & Brown, J. M. (2012). Evidence-based practice for Nurses appraisal and application of research (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning .
Video Laureate Education, Inc. (2009, ). Research and scholarship for evidence-based practice: Introduction to evidence-based practice and research [Video file]. Retrieved from


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Critical Thinking as a Nurse

Written by kimmel52 on November 11, 2008 – 11:53 pm

By Nancy Lydia Kimmel R.N., Ph.D., C.H.M.M.

In the nursing profession, more now than ever, the ability to think critically is essential. The responsibilities of a Registered Nurse have increased over the years. In correlation with this increase in responsibility comes the additional increase in educational prerequisites and core requisites required to achieve a degree in Nursing. The ANA (American Nursing Association) Standards has set forth the framework necessary for critical thinking in the application of the “nursing process”.

Critical thinking is taught at the beginning of nursing school.  Many students feel that the nursing school tests are too difficult mainly because of their lack of training in the use of critical thinking and analysis.

The nursing process is the tool by which all nurses can equally become proficient at critical thinking. The nursing process contains the following criteria:

1. Assessment
2. Diagnosis
3. Planning
4. Implementation
5. Evaluation

It is in the application of each of these processes that the nurse may become proficient at critical thinking. It is important to look at the components that describe critical thinking in nursing, The table below lists components that define the critical thinking process. There is much more that goes into critical thinking than what is listed in the table. The table is a rough draft of the process.

CRITICAL THINKING COMPONENTS

Entails purposeful, informed, outcome focused thinking, that requires careful identification of specific problems and other physiological and psychological factors that affect the clients position on the health and wellness continuum. The process is driven by the client, the client’s family and other health team members who are also collaborating in ensuring essential client care.

Specific educational knowledge base and level of experience in applying that knowledge in client care. (Nursing School to graduate nurse to experienced nurse) As the level of experience of the nurse increases so will the scientific knowledge base that the nurse applies.

Proficiency in the application of the institutions standards, policies and procedures.

Application of the humanistic standards of caring in conjunction with the nursing process, to holistically treat the clients response to an actual or perceived illness.

Constant evaluation and re-evaluation of the nursing process to determine the clients level of wellness.

Nurses learn critical thinking via application with experience. Experience is the best teacher. But it is equally important to know that the process is being applied correctly. Many institutions will ensure that this pathway is followed by enlisting new nurses in a eight to ten week orientation program. During this time the new nurse will learn about the polices and procedures of that institution and what type of documentation is used for charting purposes. Also, the new nurse will have an experienced mentor who they will follow and who will evaluate their performance as well.

Documentation is an essential part of the critical thinking process for the nurse. Every institution places emphasis on documentation. It is said, “that if it is not documented, then it was not done”. Since the nursing process is a scientific process. In scientific research, all things are documented. In this documentation, researches can look back to see if the results were due to interventions and whether or not the interventions were successful or have to be altered.

The documentation process helps the nurse accomplish the same goals. Many times procedures are used that have unproven efficacy. In it is this framework of critical thinking and documentation that such procedures can be either continued or eliminated, depending on the efficacy of the research. In other words, does the procedure actually improve, help or otherwise jeopardize the client’s health. An example of the critical thinking process and scientific reasoning is in the efficacy of taking a rectal temperature of new born infants. Currently, this procedure is still widely accepted. However the scientific approach is to ask the following, is the procedure safe, is it necessary, and can an axillary temp be used in place of the rectal temp? In answering these questions, the nurse can better evaluate whether the efficacy of taking a rectal temp on a infant should be continued. This is just one example of how the critical thinking process is used within the nursing profession.

The scientific approach using critical thinking helps the nurse develop evidence based practice. It is through “evidence based practice” that the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO) rates the performance of hospitals. Further research is still continuing in delineating the intricacies of the nursing process and the integration of critical thinking. All health care professionals are encouraged to pursue this type of research in their practice to ensure the quality of client care and enhance the validity of their profession.

REFERENCES

Zerwekh, J.,Claborn, J.(2006).Nursing Today Transition and Trends. (5th ed). St. Louis: Saunders
Alfaro-LeFevre, R. (2006). Applying Nursing Process, A Tool For Critical Thinking. (6th ed). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


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