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.
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?
What Nursing Speciality Is Best For You? by Nurse.org
This is a 9-question quiz which takes into account your personality, character traits, and daily activities. Upon completion of the quiz, it is claimed, you will discover the nursing speciality that is best suited to you. The results include an easy-to-understand summary of the speciality, education requirements (including certain certifications and hours required), the average salary (and how it’s trending), the job outlook (positive, negative, or steady with percentages) etc, but this is for a US context only. However, you might gain some insight regarding which area you’d like to work in. If nothing else, it’s a bit of fun!
New digital magazine aims to inspire the next generation of researchers*
A new magazine called The Researcher has launched today. The digital publication, created for early career researchers by early career researchers aims to raise awareness of research careers among nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.
Working in collaboration with Health Education England (HEE), NHS North West Research and Development and a team of early career researchers, along with award winning writer Rob Young, we have produced the magazine, which illustrates the real-life stories of what it is like to undertake a research career.
Two further editions of The Researcher are planned over the next six months. This first edition has the theme of ‘Breaking boundaries’ and is available to read at http://bit.ly/TheResearcherMag_Summer2016
Please let NIHR know your comments on Twitter using #TheResearcherMagazine.
*Text above reproduced from here
Nurses and midwives: A force for enhancing health and strengthening health systems – World Health Organization (regional office for Europe)
“In the WHO European Region, nurses and midwives – an estimated total of 7.3 million – make up the majority of health care professionals, delivering health services to people of all ages. A recently published compendium of good practices in nursing and midwifery illustrates the fundamental importance of these health care professionals to public health and well-being. Its 55 case studies from 18 countries provide examples of how nurses and midwives enhance health”. Click here to read more and access related resources from the World Health Organization.
Editorial: Reflections on being a new nurse: 10 insights after four weeks as a registered nurse by Emma Blakey and Debra Jackson (2016)
When describing to student nurses what it is like when you first graduate I typically use the analogy of learning to drive a car: the ‘real’ learning happens after you pass your test. You pass the test and you are now a ‘driver’ – good luck to you, and everyone else on the road. While the analogy holds true to some extent – you are now a ‘nurse’, good luck to you and your patients – thankfully there is far more support for newly registered nurses compared to newly qualified drivers.
In the above-named editorial, newly registered nurse Emma Blakely generously describes ten insights based on her first month in practice which you will find useful, especially if you’re due to qualify soon. Emma does not shirk from the scariness of having to make autonomous, accountable, decisions on behalf of patients, including worrying about forgetting something:
“I had to stop myself from calling the ward at 11pm about a patient I had left earlier that evening” (Blakey and Jackson 2016)
She does also however highlight the support she has been offered – it is understood that she, like any other newly registered nurse, is not the finished product.
The learning curve is huge, but with the right support (don’t forget your old nursing tutors!), you will get there. The transition from student nurse to registered nurse can understandably feel scary enough but get this, Emma is also doing a PhD – now that is scary ; )