Sunday, 27 October 2013

Catching up.... Lessons for me from 'popular' reading in nursing

I have spent this evening catching up on work-related activities including reading some of my Nursing Standards (NS). Lessons learned (and for my international colleagues, I hope this will give you a flavour of what's current in nursing practice just now):

  • The Safe Staffing Alliance is a group of senior nurses who have come together through NS and is encouraging MPs to back their campaign message. The Alliance believes that care is unsafe in wards where staffing ratios fall below one nurse to eight patients. This 1:8 ratio is based on significant evidence. One UK hospital at least is displaying staffing levels in wards (Salford Royal NHS Foundation).
  • Fitness to practice is an issue that is of relevance to all of us working with nurses in Higher Education (HE). According to a survey conducted by NS, over 800 students had to go through disciplinary processes at their universities in the past 3 years. The problems are varied ranging from allegations of plagiarism, unprofessional behaviour in practice placements, and criminal offences. What is highlighted within the news report is that there is not a consistent approach to dealing with misconduct across the UK - and will also depend on the stage of learning that the student is at (for example, taking a staged approach to plagiarism offences).
  • Draft guidance on lifestyle weight management services has been developed by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence). One of its key messages is that training would give nurses the confidence to tackle concerns about weight with patients, and to manage expectations associated with weight loss. Is this something that we focus on enough in our undergraduate nursing education?
  • An interesting article about the Keogh Review (which reviewed the quality of care and treatment across a number of Trusts in England) demonstrates that, with true leadership, the outcomes can energise and motivate staff. The process/outcomes can validate the concerns that staff had felt (and maybe hadn't been able to express?) and can enable a focused approach to be taken to the concerns that were raised. Steve Hams is the new chief nurse at Medway NHS Foundation Trust and has used the outcomes from Keogh to work with staff in very positive ways.
  • Finally (amongst many other interesting articles), Beverley Braithwaite's and Asanka Daynananda's article on the use of social media for learning in nursing education struck a cord for me. As with most universities, theirs uses online learning for a variety of reasons (PDP, e-workbooks, online drug calculations, discussion forums etc). What seems to be the innovation here is that they actively encourage students to bring their devices into the classroom so that they can engage with online learning insitu. I am not sure that they focused in on the use of SoMe so much as online learning through their virtual learning environment, but I would suggest that we need to trust students more and not see their use of mobile technology in the classroom as a threat to learning.
These were just some of the issues that I found to be of interest and which have provoked some reflection on nursing education and practice. I have found that writing the blog has enabled me to think more deeply about these topics as well (ever an active learner!).

Finally.... a plug. I am childishly happy that my first book has been published! My edited book will, I hope, be of use to students and lecturers alike. It is called 'The Essentials of Nursing and Healthcare Research' :)

And now just a photo that I took as I make myself a bit more at home 'down south' - loving the mix of old and new alongside the hustle and bustle of river life.

1 comment:

  1. Ruth,
    Congratulations on the book! This post is very relevant for me at this point. I have seen an increase in student offense at my school, a lot in falsifying documentation. We have dismissed more students in the past two semester than we did in my five years here. I am starting to wonder why this is taking place. Also, I do not believe we are hitting the weight issue enough in our undergraduate programs. Just last week I had to d/c a patient with a student and her instructions read "lose weight." The student was mortified at this and had to find a tactful way to explain this to the patient. We need more help in these areas!