Health

6 Ways Evidence-Based Practice is Used in Nursing

A major challenge in the field of medicine is the complexity of diseases and the rapid evolution of those diseases, making it paramount to continue researching the subject. Nursing is the most valuable area of medicine that takes on this challenge head-on, dedicated to improving quality care and making hospitals and clinics work smoothly and seamlessly. Therefore, working to make research a priority in this area is essential to improve the quality of nursing care. Since some traditional methods in medicine are still ineffective, they can benefit greatly (especially in the nursing field) from evidence-based practice. 

What is Evidence-Based Nursing (EBN)?

Evidence-Based Practice is an advanced approach to medical practices that emphasizes improving the decision-making of the said practitioner by conducting well-designed experiments and further research. Thus, making the practitioner more efficient.

Evidence-Based Practice helps to remove the years-old practices that do not produce meaningful results and consume resources and time. In this way, resources are saved, and more time is allocated to everyone, thereby improving the health of more individuals. As a result, nurses can also develop confidence and leadership skills as they become researchers in their fields.

Uses of Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing

The role of nurses has gained immense recognition and acceptance. It has become a thriving profession today, and effective nurses are more sought-after than doctors to improve patient outcomes. Hence, it is only natural to enable them to conduct research in their field and improve them by mastering their art.

Nursing is one field that has benefitted the most from Evidence-Based Practice. And over the years, you will find several examples of EBP in nursing based on research and development. The following article will highlight six of them: 

1. Preventing compassion fatigue among nurses

Nurses are driven by a desire to care for others when they start working. However, this soon becomes a redundant, repetitive task that saps compassion. Typically, this desensitized behavior results from nurses’ daily exposure to trauma and short interaction time with patients.

When compassion starts lacking, it can decrease job satisfaction, reduce workplace morale, and eventually increase turnover.

Hospitals can take the following measures to guard against this problem:

  • Providing self-care programs in hospitals to tackle the lack of compassion fatigue education.
  • Implementing self-reflection practices in the daily routines of nurses involving journaling, prayer, meditation, etc.
  • Those in leadership roles should be aware of the daily situations that their nurses face
  • Those in leadership roles should prevent situations such as understaffing and broken equipment

2. Prevention of delirium in ICU by setting up an appropriate sleep protocol

ICU delirium leads to longer stays in the ICU. It causes a host of problems for the hospital management on top of all the hassle the patient goes through. Additionally, it has been shown to cause a greater mortality rate.

The most common causes of ICU delirium include multiple nighttime interruptions, the use of sedatives, and the use of emergency alarms.

Research has shown that implementing various strategies to enhance sleep routines can reduce ICU delirium, such as using eye masks, ear plugs, music therapy, designating quiet time to promote better sleep, etc.

3. Treating alcohol withdrawal syndrome

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome or AWS is faced by many people who tend to stop or significantly reduce their alcohol intake suddenly. It can have mild to severe effects on one’s health, from headaches, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, and seizures.

A common treatment for AWS involves a benzodiazepine, such as Lorazepam. Studies have been done to find the effects of using Phenobarbital, a barbiturate drug, along with Lorazepam. Implementing this strategy has proved beneficial, resulting in fewer ICU admissions and shorter lengths of stay at ICUs.

4. Integrating treatments for Co-occurring disorders

There are many times when medical professionals encounter individuals who suffer from both behavioral health problems and substance abuse disorders. For such patients, combining the treatments of both problems often results in a higher probability of full recovery.

These individuals are provided a framework that helps them manage their routines and prevent relapse. Such a framework includes resources and services such as outreach housing and employment assistance.

5. Efficient and effective rounding routine for nurses

Implementing an efficient rounding routine for nurses is vital for providing the best care to patients. Such a routine will result in timely checking of patients’ conditions and ensure that the nurses do not get overly exhausted by unscheduled, overly intense rounding.

A CARE model was established for hourly rounding. It stands for “Care,” Ask,” Respond,” and “Educate.” During the hourly rounding. The nurses will be-

  • Caring for patient’s basic needs and ensuring that the patient is comfortable and whether they need any help
  • Asking questions and tending to the concerns of the patients that they present through surveys
  • Responding in timely and appropriately to cater to the problems represented by the patients
  • Educating the patients on the purpose and importance of the CARE rounds and how they can contribute

6. Screening mothers for postpartum depression

Nearly 10 to 20% of mothers are affected by postpartum depression within the first year of delivery, according to a study in BMC Psychiatry. It greatly affects the health of the mother as well as the child. Therefore, pregnant mothers need to be screened to detect Perinatal Depression early on in the pregnancy to reduce the likelihood of such an event.

Conclusion

Evidence-Based Practice in nursing is making waves in developing medical practices. It is picking out the minute problems that were left unwarranted due to being small yet significant. These have significantly improved the care the nurses can provide to their patients and have made the nurses firmer and sturdier in their field by providing them a way they can advance further in their field by taking control over it. Nurses often prove to be great leaders. Therefore, allowing them to research in their field has and will continue to improve the care they can provide to their patients.

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