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1.  Nurses’ self-reported time estimation of anticoagulation therapy: a survey of warfarin management in long-term care 
BMC Nursing  2015;14:8.
Background
A nursing shortage in the United States has resulted in increased workloads, potentially affecting the quality of care. This situation is particularly concerning in long-term care (LTC) facilities, where residents are older, frailer, and may be receiving multiple medications for comorbidities, thus requiring a greater commitment of nurse time. We conducted a survey of LTC nurses to determine how much of their time each week is spent managing newly started and stable warfarin-treated residents.
Methods
Forty LTC nurses validated the questionnaire to determine what protocols/procedures are involved in warfarin management. Twenty LTC nurses completed the survey, quantifying the time they spend on procedures related to warfarin management, and how often they performed each procedure for each resident each week.
Results
The nurses reported that 26% of their residents were receiving warfarin; the majority (approximately 75%) of these residents began warfarin after admission to the facility. On average, the nurses spent 4.6 hours per week for treatment procedures and monitoring patients initiating warfarin therapy and 2.35 hours per week for each resident who was stable on warfarin therapy on admission. Overall, to care for an average number of newly initiated and stable warfarin patients in a medium-size LTC facility, staff nurses are estimated to spend 68 hours per week.
Study limitations include the potential for bias because of the small sample size, representativeness of the sample, and the possibility of inaccuracies in respondents’ self-reported time estimation of warfarin-related procedures.
Conclusions
In the context of a well-documented and expanding nursing shortage in the United States, the substantial use of time and resources necessary to initiate, monitor, and manage warfarin treatment in elderly LTC patients is of concern. Until the problem of understaffing is resolved, implementation of therapies that are simpler and require less nursing time—e.g. the use of new oral anticoagulants in the place of warfarin—may be a way to free up nursing time for other essential care tasks.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12912-015-0058-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12912-015-0058-x
PMCID: PMC4336714
Anticoagulants; Long-term care; Nursing shortage; Quality of care; Warfarin management; Monitoring
2.  BMC Nursing reviewer acknowledgement 2014 
BMC Nursing  2015;14:7.
doi:10.1186/s12912-015-0057-y
PMCID: PMC4330925
3.  Efficiency of an intensive educational program for informal caregivers of hospitalized, dependent patients: cluster randomized trial 
BMC Nursing  2015;14:5.
Background
Educational initiatives for informal caregivers have proved efficient at reducing some of their symptoms, consequence of their involvement in care giving. However, more progress must be made in terms of the design of more successful interventions. Aims: Randomized clinical trial to test the efficiency of an Education Program for Primary Informal Caregivers of Hospitalized Dependent Patients in relation to their burden, mental and physical health, and care related knowledge.
Methods
Design: Cluster Randomized Trial. Sample: 151 participants, primary caregivers of hospitalized, dependent patients, carried out from February 2009 to March 2010. They were assigned at random to two groups: one received an intensive educational program (n = 78), and the other just a generic speech (n = 73). The degree of burden of caregivers was recorded (Zarit Test), as well as their physical and mental health (SF12) and their knowledge of caregiving, before, immediately, after and one and a half months after the intervention. These analyses were carried out according to the Generalized Estimated Equations Method, in order to assess any possible improvements.
Results
Participants´ burden did not improve, as measured by Zarit Test (p = 0,338), nor did their physical (p = 0,917) or mental health (p = 0,345). However there was an improvement in their hygiene caregiving (p = 0,001) and mobility care giving (p = 0,001).
Conclusions
Caregivers found useful the education program, providing them with an informal support group. Interventions need to be longer and more customized as well as adapted to specific demands. There is a lack of validated questionnaires to assess improvements in care knowledge. There is a need to develop programs that contemplate continuity of care from primary to specialized caregiving.
Trial registration
Cluster randomized trial: ESCPD2010
doi:10.1186/s12912-015-0055-0
PMCID: PMC4314749  PMID: 25648152
Health education; Care givers; Continuity of care; Dependent patients; Quality of life
4.  Knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviour intentions for three bowel management practices in intensive care: effects of a targeted protocol implementation for nursing and medical staff 
BMC Nursing  2015;14:6.
Background
Bowel management protocols have the potential to minimize complications for critically ill patients. Targeted implementation can increase the uptake of protocols by clinicians into practice. The theory of planned behaviour offers a framework in which to investigate clinicians’ intention to perform the behaviour of interest. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of implementing a bowel management protocol on intensive care nursing and medical staffs’ knowledge, attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control, behaviour intentions, role perceptions and past behaviours in relation to three bowel management practices.
Methods
A descriptive before and after survey using a self-administered questionnaire sent to nursing and medical staff working within three intensive care units before and after implementation of our bowel management protocol (pre: May – June 2008; post: Feb – May 2009).
Results
Participants had significantly higher knowledge scores post-implementation of our protocol (pre mean score 17.6; post mean score 19.3; p = 0.004). Post-implementation there was a significant increase in: self-reported past behaviour (pre mean score 5.38; post mean score 7.11; p = 0.002) and subjective norms scores (pre mean score 3.62; post mean score 4.18; p = 0.016) for bowel assessment; and behaviour intention (pre mean score 5.22; post mean score 5.65; p = 0.048) for administration of enema.
Conclusion
This evaluation, informed by the theory of planned behaviour, has provided useful insights into factors that influence clinician intentions to perform evidence-based bowel management practices in intensive care. Addressing factors such as knowledge, attitudes and beliefs can assist in targeting implementation strategies to positively affect clinician behaviour change. Despite an increase in clinicians’ knowledge scores, our implementation strategy did not, however, significantly change clinician behaviour intentions for all three bowel management practices. Further research is required to explore the influence of opinion leaders and organizational culture on clinicians’ behaviour intentions related to bowel management for intensive care patients.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12912-015-0056-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12912-015-0056-z
PMCID: PMC4320841  PMID: 25663819
Bowel management; Intensive care; Nursing; Theory of planned behaviour; Questionnaire
5.  Characteristics of being hospitalized as a child with a new diagnosis of type 1 diabetes: a phenomenological study of children’s past and present experiences 
BMC Nursing  2015;14:4.
Background
Our understanding of children and childhood has changed over the last few decades, which may have an impact on children’s conditions in hospitals. Children’s rights have been strengthened by the “Convention on the Rights of the Child” and ward regulations. The aim of this Norwegian study was to identify potential characteristics of children's lived experience of being hospitalized diagnosed with type 1 diabetes today and from a retrospective view in the period 1950–1980, despite the many obvious external changes.
Methods
This study presents a further analysis of data from two previous phenomenological studies. The first had a retrospective perspective, and the second assumed a contemporary perspective. Twelve adults and nine children who had been hospitalized for newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes at the age of approximately 6–12 years old participated. The adults relayed narratives from their childhood memories through interviews, and the study with the children was designed as a combination of observations, in-depth interviews, and photographs. A hermeneutic phenomenological method was used in the analysis.
Results
The analysis revealed a meaning structure that described a tension between vulnerability and agency in the experiences of being hospitalized as a child, both past and present. The experiences may further be characterized as alienation versus recognition and as passivity versus activity, relating to both the hospital environment and the illness.
Conclusions
To a greater extent than ever, children today tend to experience themselves as active and competent individuals who can manage their own illness. Previously, children seemed to experience themselves as more vulnerable and less competent in relationship to their environment and illness. Presently, as before, children appear to desire involvement in their illness; however, at the same time, they prefer to share responsibility with or hand over responsibility to adults. However, living with diabetes was and remains demanding, and it affects children’s lifeworld. Balancing the children’s vulnerability and agency seems to be the best way to care for children in hospitals. In this article, we thus argue for a lifeworld-led approach when caring for hospitalized children, paying attention to both their vulnerability and agency.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0051-9
PMCID: PMC4299564  PMID: 25606024
Childhood; Vulnerability; Agency; Hospital environment; Lifeworld phenomenology; Chronic illness
6.  A process evaluation of a stroke-specific follow-up care model for stroke patients and caregivers; a longitudinal study 
BMC Nursing  2015;14:3.
Background
There is a need for follow-up care after stroke, but there is no consensus about the way to organise it. An intervention providing follow-up care for stroke patients and caregivers showed favourable effects on the level of social activities, but no other effects were found. The intervention consists of a maximum of five home visits to patients and caregivers during a period of 18 months post-discharge. The home visits are conducted by a stroke care coordinator (SCC) using a structured assessment tool. The objective of this study was to examine process-related factors that could have influenced the effectiveness of the intervention.
Methods
77 stroke patients, 59 caregivers and 4 SCCs participated in the study. Data on the organisational characteristics of and the satisfaction with the intervention were collected by means of structured assessments, interviews and self-administered questionnaires at 1, 6, 12 and 18 months of follow-up. The intervention was provided between April 2008 and June 2011.
Results
Patients received an average of 3.8 home visits (SD 1.4) and 55% of them had a follow-up period of a maximum of 18 months. There were 1074 problems identified and the SCCs initiated 363 follow-up care and referral options. Stroke patients and caregivers were very satisfied with the intervention. The SCCs were satisfied with the assessment tool, but would like to see a structured referral system.
Conclusions
The intervention was only partially performed in accordance with the protocol and was positively evaluated by patients, caregivers and SCCs. It is recommended to add a structured referral system to the intervention.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0052-8
PMCID: PMC4307745  PMID: 25628517
Follow-up care; Nurses; Process assessment; Stroke
7.  Shift work to balance everyday life - a salutogenic nursing perspective in home help service in Sweden 
BMC Nursing  2015;14:2.
Background
Nurses in Sweden have a high absence due to illness and many retire before the age of sixty. Factors at work as well as in private life may contribute to health problems. To maintain a healthy work–force there is a need for actions on work-life balance in a salutogenic perspective. The aim of this study was to explore perceptions of resources in everyday life to balance work and private life among nurses in home help service.
Methods
Thirteen semi-structured individual interviews and two focus group interviews were conducted with home help service nurses in Sweden. A qualitative content analysis was used for the analyses.
Result
In the analyses, six themes of perceptions of recourses in everyday life emerged;
(i) Reflecting on life. (ii) Being healthy and taking care of yourself. (iii) Having a meaningful job and a supportive work climate. (iv) Working shifts and part time. (v) Having a family and a supporting network. (vi) Making your home your castle.
Conclusions
The result points out the complexity of work-life balance and support that the need for nurses to balance everyday life differs during different phases and transitions in life. In this salutogenic study, the result differs from studies with a pathogenic approach. Shift work and part time work were seen as two resources that contributed to flexibility and a prerequisite to work-life balance. To have time and energy for both private life and work was seen as essential. To reflect on and discuss life gave inner strength to set boundaries and to prioritize both in private life and in work life. Managers in nursing contexts have a great challenge to maintain and strengthen resources which enhance the work-life balance and health of nurses. Salutogenic research is needed to gain an understanding of resources that enhance work-life balance and health in nursing contexts.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0054-6
PMCID: PMC4305235  PMID: 25620885
Salutogenesis; Nursing; Home help service; Health promotion; Work-life balance
8.  Russian nursing students’ knowledge level and attitudes in the context of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) – a descriptive study 
BMC Nursing  2015;14:1.
Background
The purpose of this study was to describe the knowledge of Russian nursing students regarding HIV and Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and their attitudes towards caring for people/patients living with HIV or AIDS (PLWHA - People Living With HIV/AIDS) and their possible homophobic attitudes. The HIV epidemic in Russia is substantial and increasing rapidly. Hence this study provides important new information regarding this phenomenon.
Methods
The data was collected by questionnaire from students in three nursing schools (n = 102, response rate 95.3%). The data was analyzed using PASW Statistics version 18. For computing the level of the students’ AIDS knowledge, all correct answers were recorded as equal to (1), while all incorrect and “Don’t know” answers were recorded as equal to (0). Each respondent’s scores were totaled and individual scores were analyzed using regression analysis. The effect of demographic variables on the average scores of attitudes was also subjected to regression analysis.
Results
Overall, students’ knowledge level regarding HIV and AIDS was moderate (range 5–26). Of a maximum score of 33, the mean of correct answers was 19.8 (SD = 3.70). Nursing students’ attitudes were quite negative and they also demonstrated homophobic attitudes. The mean scale score for nursing students’ general attitude was 2.75, and for homophobic attitudes it was 3.3 (min = 1, max = 5). Only the background factor of gender correlated with the homophobic level demonstrated (p = .05, β = −.67). Nursing students’ overall willingness to provide care for PLWHA was associated with their attitudes (p = .003, β = −.534).
Conclusions
Given that the HIV epidemic in Russia is both substantial and increasing, it is essential to improve HIV nursing education to provide sufficient and up-to-date information about HIV and also to prepare nursing students for caring for PLWHA. In doing so, this may help to address both the deficits in student knowledge, and also modify their attitude towards PLWHA.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0053-7
PMCID: PMC4296538  PMID: 25598706
Knowledge; Attitudes; Care; HIV; PLWHA; Nursing student; Russia
9.  Associations between level of services integration and nurses’ workplace well-being 
BMC Nursing  2014;13(1):50.
Background
To respond better to population needs, in recent years Quebec has invested in improving the integration of services and care pathways. Nurses are on the front lines of these transformation processes, which require them to adopt new clinical practices. This updating of practices can be a source of both satisfaction and stress. The aim of this study was to gain a better understanding of the relationship between the transformation processes underlying services integration and nurses’ workplace well-being.
Method
This study was based on a descriptive cross-sectional correlational design. The target population included all nurses working in four care pathways in a Quebec healthcare establishment: palliative oncology services, mental health services, autonomy support for the elderly, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In all, 107 nurses took part in the study and completed a questionnaire sent to them. Hierarchical linear regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between level of integration, measured using the Development Model for Integrated Care; nurses’ perceptions of organizational change, measured on four dimensions (challenge, responsibility, threat, control); and nurses’ workplace well-being, measured on three dimensions (negative stress, positive stress, satisfaction), as defined by the Flexihealth model.
Results
Nurses in the palliative oncology care pathway, which was at a more advanced level of integration, presented a lower negative stress level and a higher positive stress level than did nurses in other care pathways. Their mean satisfaction score was also higher. More advanced integration was associated with nurses’ feeling less threatened, as well as improved workplace well-being. The perception of threat appeared to be a significant mediating variable in the relationship between level of integration and well-being.
Conclusion
The association observed between level of services integration and workplace well-being contributes to a better understanding of nurses’ experiences in such situations. These results provide new perspectives on interventions that could be implemented to remedy the potential negative consequences of these types of transformations.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0050-x
PMCID: PMC4297384  PMID: 25598705
Workplace well-being; Care and services integration processes; Nursing practice; Organizational and professional changes; Perceptions of change
10.  The critical elements of effective academic-practice partnerships: a framework derived from the Department of Veterans Affairs Nursing Academy 
BMC Nursing  2014;13(1):183.
Background
The nursing profession is exploring how academic-practice partnerships should be structured to maximize the potential benefits for each partner. As part of an evaluation of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Nursing Academy (VANA) program, we sought to identify indicators of successful partnerships during the crucial first year.
Methods
We conducted a qualitative analysis of 142 individual interviews and 23 focus groups with stakeholders from 15 partnerships across the nation. Interview respondents typically included the nursing school Dean, the VA chief nurse, both VANA Program Directors (VA-based and nursing school-based), and select VANA faculty members. The focus groups included a total of 222 VANA students and the nursing unit managers and staff from units where VANA students were placed. An ethnographic approach was utilized to identify emergent themes from these data that underscored indicators of and influences on Launch Year achievement.
Results
We emphasize five key themes: the criticality of inter-organizational collaboration; challenges arising from blending different cultures; challenges associated with recruiting nurses to take on faculty roles; the importance of structuring the partnership to promote evidence-based practice and simulation-based learning in the clinical setting; and recognizing that stable relationships must be based on long-term commitments rather than short-term changes in the demand for nursing care.
Conclusions
Developing an academic-clinical partnership requires identifying how organizations with different leadership and management structures, different responsibilities, goals and priorities, different cultures, and different financial models and accountability systems can bridge these differences to develop joint programs integrating activities across the organizations. The experience of the VANA sites in implementing academic-clinical partnerships provides a broad set of experiences from which to learn about how such partnerships can be effectively implemented, the barriers and challenges that will be encountered, and strategies and factors to overcome challenges and build an effective, sustainable partnership. This framework provides actionable guidelines for structuring and implementing effective academic-practice partnerships that support undergraduate nursing education.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0036-8
PMCID: PMC4279967  PMID: 25550686
11.  Unmet support needs of early-onset dementia family caregivers: a mixed-design study 
BMC Nursing  2014;13(1):49.
Background
Though advances in knowledge and diagnostics make it possible today to identify persons with early-onset dementia or a related cognitive disorder much sooner, little is known about the support needs of the family caregivers of these persons. The aim of this study was to document the unmet support needs of this specific group of caregivers. This knowledge is essential to open avenues for the development of innovative interventions and professional services tailored to their specific needs.
Methods
This study was conducted using a mixed research design. Participants were 32 family caregivers in their 50s recruited through memory clinics and Alzheimer Societies in Quebec (Canada). The Family Caregivers Support Agreement (FCSA) tool, based on a partnership approach between caregiver and assessor, was used to collect data in the course of a semi-structured interview, combined with open-ended questions.
Results
The unmet support needs reported by nearly 70% of the caregivers were primarily of a psycho-educational nature. Caregivers wished primarily: (1) to receive more information on available help and financial resources; (2) to have their relatives feel valued as persons and to offer them stimulating activities adjusted to their residual abilities; (3) to reduce stress stemming from their caregiver role assumed at an early age and to have the chance to enjoy more time for themselves; and (4) to receive help at the right time and for the help to be tailored to their situation of caregiver of a young person.
Conclusions
Results show numerous unmet support needs, including some specific to this group of family caregivers. Use of the FCSA tool allowed accurately assessing the needs that emerged from mutual exchanges. Avenues for professional innovative interventions are proposed.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0049-3
PMCID: PMC4279790  PMID: 25550685
Caregivers; Early-onset dementia; Unmet support needs; Partnership approach; Professional interventions
12.  “The educating nursing staff effectively (TENSE) study”: design of a cluster randomized controlled trial 
BMC Nursing  2014;13(1):46.
Background
Challenging behavior exhibited by people with dementia can have adverse outcomes, like stress, low morale, low work satisfaction and absenteeism for nursing staff in long-term care settings. Training nursing staff to manage challenging behavior may reduce its impact. Although much of the research into training nursing staff shows methodological limitations, several studies find some effect of training programs on knowledge about and on management of challenging behavior. Effects on stress or burnout are almost not found.
Methods/Design
The TENSE-study is a randomized controlled study on 18 nursing home units (9 control, 9 intervention) investigating the effects of a continuous educational program for nursing staff about managing challenging behavior. Nursing staff of intervention units receive the program, nursing staff of control units do not and continue usual care. The primary outcome is stress experienced by nursing staff (N = 135). Secondary outcomes are: emotional workload, work satisfaction, stress reactions at work and knowledge about challenging behaviour of nursing staff; and frequency of challenging behavior, quality of life and social engagement of residents (N = 135). Because there are many unknown factors influencing the effect of the training, a process evaluation to evaluate sampling-, implementation- and intervention quality as well as barriers and facilitators to implementation will also be included in the analysis. Nursing staff could not be blinded to the intervention, but were blinded for the outcomes.
Discussion
Strengths of this study are the (good) description of the intervention complemented by a process evaluation and the tailoring of the intervention to the wishes and needs of the nursing homes at any moment during the study. Sustaining the effects of the intervention by using follow up sessions is another strength. Possible drawbacks may be dropout because of the frailty of the elderly population and because nursing staff might move to another job during the study.
Trial registration
NTR (Dutch Trial Registration) number NTR3620
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0046-6
PMCID: PMC4299299  PMID: 25606022
Dementia; Challenging behaviour; Training; Nursing staff; Stress; Work satisfaction
13.  Exploring intensive care nurses’ team performance in a simulation-based emergency situation, − expert raters’ assessments versus self-assessments: an explorative study 
BMC Nursing  2014;13(1):47.
Background
Effective teamwork has proven to be crucial for providing safe care. The performance of emergencies in general and cardiac arrest situations in particular, has been criticized for primarily focusing on the individual’s technical skills and too little on the teams’ performance of non-technical skills. The aim of the study was to explore intensive care nurses’ team performance in a simulation-based emergency situation by using expert raters’ assessments and nurses’ self-assessments in relation to different intensive care specialties.
Methods
The study used an explorative design based on laboratory high-fidelity simulation. Fifty-three registered nurses, who were allocated into 11 teams representing two intensive care specialties, participated in a videotaped simulation-based cardiac arrest setting. The expert raters used the Ottawa Crisis Resource Management Global Rating Scale and the first part of the Mayo High Performance Teamwork Scale to assess the teams’ performance. The registered nurses used the first part of the Mayo High Performance Teamwork Scale for their self-assessments, and the analyses used were Chi-square tests, Mann–Whitney U tests, Spearman’s rho and Intraclass Correlation Coefficient Type III.
Results
The expert raters assessed the teams’ performance as either advanced novice or competent, with significant differences being found between the teams from different specialties. Significant differences were found between the expert raters’ assessments and the registered nurses’ self-assessments.
Conclusions
Teams of registered nurses representing specialties with coronary patients exhibit a higher competence in non-technical skills compared to team performance regarding a simulated cardiac arrest. The use of expert raters’ assessments and registered nurses’ self-assessments are useful in raising awareness of team performance with regard to patient safety.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0047-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0047-5
PMCID: PMC4299298  PMID: 25606023
Assessment; Emergency; Intensive care; Non-technical skills; Nursing; Patient safety; Simulation-based training; Team performance
14.  Australian graduating nurses’ knowledge, intentions and beliefs on infection prevention and control: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Nursing  2014;13(1):43.
Background
In recent year, national bodies have been actively addressing the increasing concern on the spread of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The current study measures the knowledge, intentions and beliefs of third-year Australian nursing students on key infection prevention and control (IPC) concepts.
Methods
A cross-sectional study of final-year undergraduate nursing students from Schools of Nursing at six Australian universities was undertaken. Students were asked to participate in an anonymous survey. The survey explored knowledge of standard precautions and transmission based precautions. In addition intentions and beliefs towards IPC were explored.
Results
349 students from six universities completed the study. 59.8% (95% CI 58.8–60.8%) of questions were answered correctly. Significantly more standard precaution questions were correctly answered than transmission-based precaution questions (p < 0.001). No association was found between self-reported compliance with IPC activities and gender or age. Certain infection control issues were correlated with the percentage of correctly answered transmission-based precaution questions. The participants were most likely to seek infection control information from an infection control professional.
Conclusion
Knowledge on transmission-based precautions was substandard. As transmission-based precautions are the foundation of IPC for serious organisms and infections, education institutions should reflect on the content and style of educational delivery on this topic.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0043-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0043-9
PMCID: PMC4266973  PMID: 25516721
15.  Are care workers appropriate mentors for nursing students in residential aged care? 
BMC Nursing  2014;13(1):44.
Background
The aged care sector is increasingly dominated by a less-qualified workforce at a time of increasing prevalence of complex health concerns, such as dementia. An Australian program to develop teaching aged care facilities is being undertaken to build the sector’s capacity and provide nursing students with positive experiences of engaging with vulnerable clients. This research aimed to examine care staff potential to facilitate nursing student engagement with clinically relevant knowledge in the performance of hygiene care in a residential aged care facility.
Methods
This study was designed as an action research study. A cycle of reflection, planning, action, and evaluation is described to illustrate the carer mentor capacity to engage with and contribute to the learning of nursing students. Participants were second year student nurses (n = 10) on a four-week placement in a Tasmanian aged care facility in 2013 and their nurse/carer mentors (n = 17). Mentors participated in six action research meetings, and nursing students engaged in a parallel series of four feedback meetings during the placement.
Results
At the beginning of the placement, nursing students exhibited a disregard for the clinical value of care provision. Students considered provision of hygiene care, in particular, the preserve of care workers and an inappropriate training exercise in the context of an undergraduate nursing qualification. To assist students to make links between core nursing competencies and hygiene care as well as to engender respect for their role within the aged care facility, carer mentors developed the Carer Assessment and Reporting Guide. Once implemented during the final weeks of the placement, the Guide improved student perceptions of resident hygiene care (reframed as assessment) and the role of facility care workers, as well as reinforcing carer self-esteem.
Conclusion
Hygiene care is replete with nursing competencies that are valuable for undergraduate learners, including assessments of skin integrity, mobility, cognitive function, bowels and urine, and basic hygiene. Nurse education programs should strive to address student misconceptions about care work in facilities to account for population level increases in care needs.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0044-8
PMCID: PMC4271505  PMID: 25530713
Aged care; Nursing; Clinical placement; Carer; Hygiene; Action research
16.  A transition program to primary health care for new graduate nurses: a strategy towards building a sustainable primary health care nurse workforce? 
BMC Nursing  2014;13(1):34.
Background
This debate discusses the potential merits of a New Graduate Nurse Transition to Primary Health Care Program as an untested but potential nursing workforce development and sustainability strategy. Increasingly in Australia, health policy is focusing on the role of general practice and multidisciplinary teams in meeting the service needs of ageing populations in the community. Primary health care nurses who work in general practice are integral members of the multidisciplinary team – but this workforce is ageing and predicted to face increasing shortages in the future. At the same time, Australia is currently experiencing a surplus of and a corresponding lack of employment opportunities for new graduate nurses. This situation is likely to compound workforce shortages in the future. A national nursing workforce plan that addresses supply and demand issues of primary health care nurses is required. Innovative solutions are required to support and retain the current primary health care nursing workforce, whilst building a skilled and sustainable workforce for the future.
Discussion
This debate article discusses the primary health care nursing workforce dilemma currently facing policy makers in Australia and presents an argument for the potential value of a New Graduate Transition to Primary Health Care Program as a workforce development and sustainability strategy. An exploration of factors that may contribute or hinder transition program for new graduates in primary health care implementation is considered.
Summary
A graduate transition program to primary health care may play an important role in addressing primary health care workforce shortages in the future. There are, however, a number of factors that need to be simultaneously addressed if a skilled and sustainable workforce for the future is to be realised. The development of a transition program to primary health care should be based on a number of core principles and be subjected to both a summative and cost-effectiveness evaluation involving all key stakeholders.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0034-x
PMCID: PMC4279900  PMID: 25550684
Primary Health Care; Practice Nurse; Graduate Nurse; Transition; Retention; Recruitment; Workforce; Sustainability; Australia
17.  Perioperative nursing in public university hospitals: an ethnography 
BMC Nursing  2014;13(1):45.
Background
In recent years, perioperative nursing has received ongoing attention as part of an interprofessional collaboration. Perioperative nursing is constantly faced with new challenges and opportunities that necessitate continual updates of nursing knowledge and technical skills. In light of the longstanding relationship between nursing and technology, it is interesting that few studies with this focus have been performed. Therefore, our research question was: What is the content of perioperative nursing and how do nurses facilitate the interaction between nursing care and technology in highly specialized operating rooms in public university hospitals?
Methods
An ethnography involving participant observations and interviews was conducted during a 9-month study period. The participants comprised 24 nurses from 9 different operating wards at 2 university hospitals in different regions of Denmark.
Results
Patients were addressed as either human beings or objects. Likewise, the participants’ technical skills were observed and described as either technical flair or a lack of technical skills/technophobia. The different ways in which the technical skills were handled and the different ways in which the patients were viewed contributed to the development of three levels of interaction between technology and nursing care: the interaction, declining interaction, and failing interaction levels.
Conclusion
Nursing practice at the interaction level is characterized by flexibility and excellence, while practice at the declining interaction level is characterized by inflexibility and rigidity. Nursing practice at the failing interaction level is characterized by staff members working in isolation with limited collaboration with other staff members in operating rooms. Considering that the declining and failing interaction levels are characterized by inflexibility, rigidity, and isolation in nursing practice, nurses at these two levels must develop and improve their qualifications to reach a level of flexible, excellent interaction. Nurse leaders must therefore refocus their skills on proficiency in perioperative nursing.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0045-7
PMCID: PMC4264328  PMID: 25506263
Anthropology; Cultural; Ethnography; Nursing care; Perioperative nursing; Technology
18.  The role of patients in pressure injury prevention: a survey of acute care patients 
BMC Nursing  2014;13(1):41.
Background
Pressure injury prevention (PIP) is an important area of patient safety. Encouraging patient participation in care is a growing trend in healthcare as it can increase adherence to treatment plans and improve outcomes. Patients in acute care settings may be able to take on an active role in PIP. However, there is limited information on patients’ views of their perceived role in PIP. The aims of our study were to survey hospitalised patients’ views on a) their perceived roles in PIP and, b) factors that enable or inhibit patient participation in PIP strategies.
Methods
Eligible participants were 18 years of age or older, from a neurology or orthopaedic ward and had been admitted to hospital at least 24 hours prior to enrolment in the study. A questionnaire comprising of fixed and open-ended responses was administered by researchers to participants. Numerical data was analysed descriptively and free-text comments were content-analysed and grouped into themes.
Results
The mean age of participants (n = 51) was 65 years (sd = 16.6); over half were female and three quarters were orthopaedic surgical patients. Eighty-six per cent of participants understood the concept of pressure injury and 80% agreed that patients have a role in PIP. Participants nominated the following PIP strategies that could be undertaken by patients: Keep skin healthy; Listen to your body and Looking after the inside. Strategies required for patient participation in PIP were represented by three themes: Manage pain and discomfort; Work together; Ongoing PI education.
Conclusion
To ensure successful participation in PIP, patients require education throughout admission, management of pain and discomfort and a supportive and collaborative relationship with health care staff. Health professionals should identify patient ability and motivation to prevent pressure injury (PI), work in partnership with patients to adhere to PIP, and ensure that PIP actions are facilitated with appropriate pain relief.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0041-y
PMCID: PMC4266970  PMID: 25516720
Patient views; Patient participation; Pressure injury prevention
19.  Nurses’ lifestyle behaviours, health priorities and barriers to living a healthy lifestyle: a qualitative descriptive study 
BMC Nursing  2014;13(1):38.
Background
Nurses have an increased risk for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), along with a high prevalence of obesity, poor eating habits and insufficient physical activity. The aim of this study was to determine the health concerns, health priorities and barriers to living a healthy lifestyle among nurses and hospital management staff from public hospitals in the Western Cape Metropole, South Africa.
Methods
Participants were purposively sampled (n = 103), and included management personnel (n = 9), night shift (n = 57) and day-shift nurses (n = 36). Twelve focus groups (FGDs) were conducted with nursing staff to obtain insight into nurses’ health concerns, lifestyle behaviours and worksite health promotion programmes (WHPPs). Seven key informant interviews (KII) were conducted with management personnel, to gain their perspective on health promotion in the worksite. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data with the assistance of Atlas.ti Qualitative Data Analysis Software.
Results
Night shift nurses frequently identified weight gain and living with NCDs such as hypertension as their main health concerns. Being overweight was perceived to have a negative impact on work performance. All nurses identified backache and exposure to tuberculosis (TB) as occupation-related health concerns, and both management and nurses frequently reported a stressful working environment. Nurses frequently mentioned lack of time to prepare healthy meals due to long working hours and being overtired from work. The hospital environment was perceived to have a negative influence on the nurses’ lifestyle behaviours, including food service that offered predominantly unhealthy foods. The most commonly delivered WHPPs included independent counselling services, an online employee wellness programme offered by the Department of Health and wellness days in which clinical measures, such as blood glucose were measured. Nurses identified a preference for WHPPs that provided access to fitness facilities or support groups.
Conclusions
Public hospitals are a stressful work environment and shift work places an additional strain on nurses. The risk of NCDs and exposure to infectious disease remains a concern in this working population. Our findings highlight the need for WHPPs that support nurses in managing stress and transforming the work environment to facilitate healthy lifestyles.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0038-6
PMCID: PMC4264254  PMID: 25506262
Nurses’ health; Lifestyle behaviours; Perceptions; Shift workers
20.  Is there a relationship between personality and choice of nursing specialty: an integrative literature review 
BMC Nursing  2014;13(1):40.
Background
Personality is deemed to play a part in an individual’s choice of work, with individuals’ preferencing a profession or field of work that will satisfy their personal needs. There is limited research exploring the personality characteristics of nurses within clearly defined nursing specialty areas. Retaining nurses within specialty areas has workforce implications when vacancies are unable to be filled by appropriately experienced staff.
The aim of the review was to determine the current state of knowledge regarding the personality profiles of nurses in specialty areas of nursing practice.
Methods
An integrative literature review was undertaken.
Five electronic databases were searched using personality and nursing based keywords. No date limit or research design restriction was applied. Rigorous screening and quality appraisal was undertaken considering the research design, methods and limitations of each manuscript.
Results
A review of the 13 included articles demonstrated some variability in the personality characteristics of the nursing specialty groups studied. A relationship was identified between personality characteristics and levels of nursing stress and burnout.
Conclusion
There is some evidence to suggest a relationship between personality characteristics and nursing specialty choice, burnout and job satisfaction. The published literature is limited and the effect of personality on retention is not well established.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0040-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0040-z
PMCID: PMC4267136  PMID: 25516719
Personality characteristics; Nurses; Specialty; Retention; Stress; Burnout
21.  The journey with dementia from the perspective of bereaved family caregivers: a qualitative descriptive study 
BMC Nursing  2014;13(1):42.
Background
With increasing rates of dementia among older adults, many people will be affected by this disease; either by having the disease or by caring for a relative with dementia. Due to a shift toward home and community-based care there will be an increase in the number of family caregivers caring for persons with dementia. The caregiving experience in the dementia journey is influenced by many factors. Currently there is a paucity of research that examines the dementia caregiving experience from the perspective of bereaved caregivers or that presents the complete caregiving journey. The purpose of this study was to describe the dementia caregiving journey as revealed by bereaved family caregivers.
Methods
This study utilized qualitative description to describe the overall dementia caregiving journey as told by 11 bereaved caregivers. Open-ended interviews resulted in rich detailed descriptions of the caregiving journey from before a dementia diagnosis and into bereavement.
Results
Findings are discussed based on the following caregiving themes: (a) getting a diagnosis; (b) managing at home; (c) transition to long-term care; (d) end of life; and (e) grief in bereavement. Subthemes reflect the dementia caregiving journey using the words of the participants. Participants spoke of grieving throughout the caregiving experience.
Conclusions
Bereaved caregivers have similar experiences to active caregivers over comparable points in the journey with dementia. Findings from this work contribute new understanding to the literature around the unique perspective of bereaved caregivers, while presenting the overall dementia caregiving journey.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0042-x
PMCID: PMC4247750  PMID: 25435810
Bereaved; Dementia; Family caregivers; Journey; Qualitative description
22.  Patient safety subcultures among registered nurses and nurse assistants in Swedish hospital care: a qualitative study 
BMC Nursing  2014;13(1):39.
Background
Patient safety culture emerges from the shared assumptions, values and norms of members of a health care organization, unit, team or other group with regard to practices that directly or indirectly influence patient safety. It has been argued that organizational culture is an amalgamation of many cultures, and that subcultures should be studied to develop a deeper understanding of an organization’s culture. The aim of this study was to explore subcultures among registered nurses and nurse assistants in Sweden in terms of their assumptions, values and norms with regard to practices associated with patient safety.
Methods
The study employed an exploratory design using a qualitative method, and was conducted at two hospitals in southeast Sweden. Seven focus group interviews and two individual interviews were conducted with registered nurses and seven focus group interviews and one individual interview were conducted with nurse assistants. Manifest content analysis was used for the analysis.
Results
Seven patient safety culture domains (i.e. categories of assumptions, values and norms) that included practices associated with patient safety were found: responsibility, competence, cooperation, communication, work environment, management and routines. The domains corresponded with three system levels: individual, interpersonal and organizational levels. The seven domains consisted of 16 subcategories that expressed different aspects of the registered nurses and assistants nurses’ patient safety culture. Half of these subcategories were shared.
Conclusions
Registered nurses and nurse assistants in Sweden differ considerably with regard to patient safety subcultures. The results imply that, in order to improve patient safety culture, efforts must be tailored to both registered nurses’ and nurse assistants’ patient safety-related assumptions, values and norms. Such efforts must also take into account different system levels. The results of the present study could be useful to facilitate discussions about patient safety within and between different professional groups.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0039-5
PMCID: PMC4247876  PMID: 25435809
Nurses; Patient safety; Safety culture; Qualitative research
23.  Bowel problem management among nursing home residents: a mixed methods study 
BMC Nursing  2014;13(1):35.
Background
Bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhoea and faecal incontinence (FI) are prevalent conditions among nursing home residents and little is known about nursing management. This study aimed to elucidate how Norwegian registered nurses (RNs) manage bowel problems among nursing home residents.
Methods
A mixed methods approach was used combining quantitative data from a population-based cross-sectional survey and qualitative data from a focus group interview. In the cross sectional part of the study 27 of 28 nursing homes in one Norwegian municipality participated. Residents were included if they, at the time of data collection, had been a resident in a nursing home for more than three weeks or had prior stays of more than four weeks during the last six months. Residents were excluded from the study if they were younger than 65 years or had a stoma (N = 980 after exclusions). RNs filled in a questionnaire for residents regarding FI, constipation, diarrhoea, and treatments/interventions. In the focus group interview, 8 RNs participated. The focus group interview used an interview guide that included six open-ended questions.
Results
Pad use (88.9%) and fixed toilet schedules (38.6%) were the most commonly used interventions for residents with FI. In addition, the qualitative data showed that controlled emptying of the bowels with laxatives and/or enemas was common. Common interventions for residents with constipation were laxatives (66.2%) and enemas (47%), dietary interventions (7.3%) and manual emptying of feces (6.3%). In addition, the qualitative data showed that the RNs also used fixed toilet schedules for residents with constipation. Interventions for residents with diarrhoea were Loperamide (18.3%) and dietary interventions (20.1%). RNs described bowel care management as challenging due to limited time and resources. Consequently, compromises were a part of their working strategies.
Conclusions
Constipation was considered to be the main focus of bowel management. Emptying the residents’ bowels was the aim of nursing intervention. FI was mainly treated passively with pads and interventions for residents with diarrhoea were limited. The RNs prioritized routine tasks in the nursing homes due to limited resources, and thereby compromising with the resident’s need for individualized bowel care.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0035-9
PMCID: PMC4251841  PMID: 25469107
Constipation; Diarrhoea; Faecal incontinence; Nursing homes; Cross-sectional survey; Focus groups
24.  Attitudes of nurses and physicians towards nurse-physician collaboration in northwest Ethiopia: a hospital based cross-sectional study 
BMC Nursing  2014;13(1):37.
Background
Collaboration between professionals is important in health institutions where most activities are team-performed. Ineffective nurse-physician collaboration affects patient outcome, nurses’ job satisfaction and organizational cost and is challenged by personal, interpersonal and organizational factors. The main objective of this study was to assess attitudes of nurses and physicians towards nurse-physician collaboration and the level of satisfaction with regard to quality of collaboration between them at Referral Hospitals of Northwest Ethiopia, from February 1st to April 30, 2013.
Methods
An institution based cross-sectional study was conducted among 176 nurses and 53 physicians working in Felegehiwot and Gondar University Referral Hospitals. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires. Attitudes of nurses and physicians were measured using Jefferson scale of attitudes towards nurse-physician Collaboration. Results were summarized using descriptive statistics and difference of means and proportions were evaluated using student t test p <0.05 was considered as significant.
Result
The overall response rate was 90.50%. Nurses demonstrate more favorable attitudes than physicians with mean score of 49.63 and 47.49 and standard error of mean 0.474 and 0.931 respectively with p = 0.043. For the Jefferson Scale Attitudes towards Nurse-Physician Collaboration includes four subscales, which are: 1) shared education and teamwork, 2) Caring vs curing, 3) nurses autonomy and 4) physician dominance. Nurses scored higher on three subscales (1, 2 and 4). However, statistically significant differences were noted with regard to subscales 2 and 4 (p = 0.01, p = 0.004, respectively).
Conclusion
This study identified that neither nurses nor physicians were satisfied with their current collaboration and nurses demonstrated less satisfaction with the current nurse physician collaboration. As compared with physicians nurses had more favorable attitudes towards collaboration specifically toward nurses’ contributions to the psychosocial and educational aspects of patient care, and stronger rejection of a totally dominant physician role.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0037-7
PMCID: PMC4245739  PMID: 25431536
Attitudes; Collaboration; Nurse; Physician; Nurse-physician
25.  Exploring the potential for advanced nursing practice role development in Kenya: a qualitative study 
BMC Nursing  2014;13(1):33.
Background
Definitions of advanced nursing practice abound, yet little has been published concerning the context for advanced nursing in sub-Saharan Africa. This study set out to explore the existence of, and potential for, advanced nursing practice in Kenya.
Methods
Ten nurses were invited to participate in semi-structured qualitative interviews. Participants were purposively selected to provide insight into the practice of experienced nurses in urban, rural, community, hospital, public and private health care settings. Interview narratives were recorded, transcribed and subsequently analysed using a thematic approach.
Results
All participants reported that they were engaged in the delivery of expert, evidence-based care. The majority also undertook administrative activities, teaching in the practice area and policy and practice advocacy. However, only the two private practice nurses interviewed during the study were working with the level of autonomy that might be expected of advanced nurse practitioners.
Conclusions
While participants were undertaking many of the activities associated with advanced nursing roles, advanced nursing practice as widely understood in the (largely western derived) international literature was not identified. The nurses practicing with the greatest autonomy were generally those with the lowest educational qualifications rather than the highest. Highly qualified nurses and midwives tend to move into management and education, and see little opportunity for advancement while remaining in clinical practice. It is notable that, although a growing number of universities offer master’s level education, no African countries have yet regulated an advanced level of practice. The existence of the physician substitute ‘clinical officer’ cadre in Kenya, as in other Sub-Saharan African countries, suggests that the development of the advanced nurse practitioner role is unlikely at present. However, there is a pressing need for advanced nurses and midwives who can implement evidence-based practice and exercise clinical leadership in the drive to attain the Millennium Development Goals and their post-2015 successors.
doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0033-y
PMCID: PMC4236483  PMID: 25411562
Advanced nursing practice; Sub-Saharan Africa; Task-shifting; Nursing workforce; Qualitative research

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