Basic nursing care – what’s in a word?
What does ‘basic’ nursing care mean to you? This perhaps springs to mind aspects of care such as washing, mouthcare, and assistance for eating and drinking amongst other aspects of living that we normally perform for ourselves when well. Such Activities of Daily Living might be regarded as ‘basic’ as they are easy to learn and don’t require a great deal of mental effort to perform. For others, however, the word ‘basic’ is belittling to the art and science of nursing, reducing nursing to little more than the performance of a series of simple tasks. ‘Basic’ seems to involve what to do (e.g. clean mouth) and how (e.g. brush teeth) to do it, but does not readily seem to encompass when, who, where, how; and perhaps the most important question word – why (e.g. to promote personal comfort, to facilitate meaning as being regarded as a fellow worthy human being, to maintain homeostasis and reduce the risk of nosocomial pneumonia). Just because the care is directed at basic needs, does that make the care basic too?
What’s better than basic? Fundamental? Essential? Something else?
Alternative terminology such as ‘fundamental’ or ‘essential’ nursing care have been proposed, yet ‘basic’ sticks (for example). This is a deceptively complex and controversial topic which deserves a much more thorough and referenced exploration than I will provide here. For now, I wish simply to propose an acronym, and I would like to know your views on it: BASIC.
Basic care, done well, is complex, but is BASIC nonetheless
||Care ought to be the best possible skilfully performed care that the nurse can deliver (within the limits of experience, ability, time and cost), not a mechanically performed task
||Care ought to be delivered authentically, that is, delivered purposefully with positive intentions by someone who genuinely cares and wants to care
||Care ought to be specific, in other words, patient/person-centred, not task/nurse-centred
||Care ought to be informed, in other words, evidence-based (remembering that evidence-based practice includes not just best research evidence but the expertise of practitioners and patient preferences)
||Care ought to be delivered compassionately, such that the patient/person feels cared for
What do you think?
Do you think that ‘re-claiming’ the word BASIC to show that, when done well (in such a way as to best achieve effective care i.e. maximise patient outcomes), basic care is in fact highly skilled with a good deal of mental effort required? Or do you think this would simply perpetuate the notion that a great deal of what a nurse does is low skill, low mental effort? Do you think my suggestion is nothing more than re-inventing the wheel? Whatever your view, basic or complex, I’d love to hear it.
Waiting for the motivation fairy
by Hugh Kearns and Maria Gardiner
When you’ve a task to do such as writing an assignment it’s tempting to say “Mañana Mañana”. However, there are only so many “tomorrows” before the deadline and repeated delaying can contribute to unnecessary stress. Instead of giving in to procrastination, click on the image below to get some tips on how to get your drive back, and get your work done on time!
I’d like to pass on this message from Professor Rowntree as posted in a blog by Professor Debbie Holley, Centre for Excellence in Learning, Bournemouth University. This is a great opportunity to get what sounds like an excellent book and at no cost if you order next week, Hope you like the book and read on to find out more!
“I am posting here in the understanding that we share a concern with helping students improve their approaches to learning. Back in 1970 my book (Learn How to Study) was one of the first to pursue this aim and proved sufficiently useful to go through several editions until the pressures of work at the Open University meant I had to let it go out of print (and date) for some years.
Now I am retired, however, I have been able to bring it up to date and have recently published the 6th edition as a Kindle book (to make the most of digital portability and keep the price down). It is available both as a single volume and (for students who need only some of its content) with its content divided over five smaller Kindles.
The book enters a world in which there is vastly more advice on studying available than when it first appeared and most universities have developed materials and other support specific to their local needs. Nevertheless, colleagues may feel that an outside perspective (such as my book offers) can sometimes provide useful reinforcement. So I hope you will feel able to add it to the arsenal of resources you already provide or recommend to students.
The book normally costs £6.47 (including the free Kindle app that some students may need in order to read it on their favourite device). But for five days next week, Monday 15 – Friday 18th November, the book (and app) will be FREE to anyone who cares to download a copy from Amazon (at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00UUD3JGY). Downloaders will be under no obligation and I will get no information about who they are”.
How your vote could lead to £25,000 being awarded to make wards at Royal Bournemouth more dementia friendly
Kelly Lockyer, Dementia Nurse Specialist at Royal Bournemouth Hospital, is spear-heading an initiative to make the hospital wards easier to navigate for people with dementia (and their families) who can find hospitalisation a disorientating and distressing experience. You could help her and the team at Royal Bournemouth be awarded £25,000 from the Aviva Community Trust Fund. All you have to do is click here to access a message from Kelly which gives instructions on how to vote. I’ve just been casting my vote and while it might take a few minutes to conduct the voting process, if enough of us do it, it will be worth it.
It is also nice to take part in a voting process today that does not have the possibility of ending with Donald Trump being handed the nuke codes…
Want to wrest back some privacy from Mark Zuckerberg?
by David Nield, The Observer, 13th March 2016
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook
It seems that with the exponential growth of the use of social media and smartphones any notions of privacy are being consigned to the past. However, David Nield has provided us with 15 tips towards wresting some privacy back from the social network behemoth, Facebook. Follow his advice and take some back. (Remember also to be very careful as to what information or images you put on social media. Click here to read a previous blog post on the NMC’s policy on nurses’ use of social media).
Antibiotic Resistance: Urban Myth or Zombie Apocalypse?
by Dr Liz Sheridan, microbiologist, Poole Hospital
Tuesday 1st November 2016, Cafe Boscanova
Everyone, in particular healthcare professionals but also the wider public, needs to know about antibiotic (or antimicrobial) resistance. What better way to find out about it than from a medical expert while enjoying the comforts of Cafe Boscanova?!
I’ve written before about antimicrobial resistance – it’s one of the biggest challenges that we face in the 21st century, see below:
Inappropriate use of antibiotics is putting our lives at risk
What can you do to decrease overuse of antibiotics?
And find out more about Care Scientfique here. Hope to see you there!
The New Script of Nursing
As stated by Patricia Davidson, Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, “All of us know that our profession is undergoing an extraordinary transformation and that nursing will never look the same. While we know this, there is a profound need to educate the general public about the broader scope of our work and expanding opportunities.
As the breadth and impact of our work increases, so does the need to recruit and retain nurses—crucial elements during a nursing shortage throughout the world. Together we are writing the “new script of nursing,” and we have created a video that reveals the intensity and magnitude of our profession that is much more than what meets the eye – researcher, clinician, change agent, inventor”.
What do you think?