Common nursing interventions are often based on tradition rather than on evidence-based practices, according to an article in the journal Critical Care Nurse that urges nurses to incorporate the latest research into their practices.
Existing research suggests that less than 15% of clinicians are believed to consistently use evidence-based practice guidelines. Moreover, reviews suggest that it can take up to twenty years for research to make its way into routine clinical practice.
The Critical Care Nurse article examined four care interventions that are commonly carried out by nurses:
For each practice, researchers outlined the evidence-based recommendations and described their implications for patient care:
"It is important for nurses to continually evaluate their practice to ensure that current best evidence is guiding practice interventions, rather than providing care based on tradition alone," says lead author Mary Beth Flynn Makic, a researcher at University of Colorado Hospital and an associate professor at the University of Colorado, College of Nursing in Aurora.
She adds, "As research and new evidence evolve, nurses are often the frontline catalysts for translating them into practice" (Infection Control Today, 4/2; Flynn Makic et al., Critical Care Nurse, April 2014).
Introducing evidence-based practices at the bedside is not easily accomplished. To succeed, efforts must often be accompanied by a cultural shift that encompasses both leadership support and grassroots enthusiasm.
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