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1.  Patients' experiences and perceived causes of persisting discomfort following day surgery 
BMC Nursing  2010;9:16.
Background
The aim of this study was to describe patients' experiences and perceived causes of persisting discomfort following day surgery. Earlier research has mainly covered symptoms and signs during a recovery period of up to one month, and not dealt with patients' perceptions of what causes persisting, longer-term discomfort.
Methods
This study is a part from a study carried out during the period May 2006 to May 2007 with a total of 298 day surgery patients. Answers were completed by 118 patients at 48 hours, 110 at seven days and 46 at three months to one open-ended question related to discomfort after day surgery constructed as follows: If you are still experiencing discomfort related to the surgery, what is the reason, in your opinion? Data was processed, quantitatively and qualitatively. Descriptive, inferential, correlation and content analyses were performed.
Results
The results suggest that patients suffer from remaining discomfort e.g. pain and wound problem, with effects on daily life following day surgery up to three months. Among patients' perceptions of factors leading to discomfort may be wrongful or suboptimal treatment, type of surgery or insufficient access to provider/information.
Conclusions
The results have important implications for preventing and managing discomfort at home following day surgery, and for nursing interventions to help patients handle the recovery period better.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-9-16
PMCID: PMC2988024  PMID: 20979624
2.  Cancer incidence and adverse pregnancy outcome in registered nurses potentially exposed to antineoplastic drugs 
BMC Nursing  2010;9:15.
Background
To determine the relationships of potential occupational exposure to antineoplastic drugs with cancer incidence and adverse pregnancy outcomes in a historical prospective cohort study of female registered nurses (RNs) from British Columbia, Canada (BC).
Methods
Female RNs registered with a professional regulatory body for at least one year between 1974 and 2000 formed the cohort (n = 56,213). The identifier file was linked to Canadian cancer registries. An RN offspring cohort from 1986 was created by linkages with the BC Birth and Health Status Registries. Exposure was assessed by work history in oncology or cancer agencies (method 1) and by estimating weighted duration of exposure developed from a survey of pharmacists and nursing unit administrators of all provincial hospitals and treatment centers and the work history of the nurses (method 2). Relative risks (RR) were calculated using Poisson regression for cancer incidence and odds ratios (OR) were calculated for congenital anomaly, stillbirth, low birth weight, and prematurity incidence, with 95% confidence intervals.
Results
In comparison with other female RNs, method 1 revealed that RNs who ever worked in a cancer center or in an oncology nursing unit had an increased risk of breast cancer (RR = 1.83; 95% CI = 1.03 - 3.23, 12 cases) and their offspring were at risk for congenital anomalies of the eye (OR = 3.46, 95% CI = 1.08 - 11.14, 3 cases). Method 2 revealed that RNs classified as having the highest weighted durations of exposure to antineoplastic drugs had an excess risk of cancer of the rectum (RR = 1.87, 95% CI = 1.07 - 3.29, 14 cases). No statistically significant increased risks of leukemia, other cancers, stillbirth, low birth weight, prematurity, or other congenital anomalies in the RNs' offspring were noted.
Conclusions
Female RNs having had potential exposure to antineoplastic drugs were not found to have an excess risk of leukemia, stillbirth, or congenital anomalies in their offspring, with the exception of congenital anomalies of the eye, based on only three cases; however, elevated risks of breast and rectal cancer were observed.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-9-15
PMCID: PMC2949748  PMID: 20846432
3.  Watchfully checking rapport with the Primary Child Health Care nurses - a theoretical model from the perspective of parents of foreign origin 
BMC Nursing  2010;9:14.
Background
Worldwide, multicultural interaction within health care seems to be challenging and problematic. This is also true among Primary Child Health Care nurses (PCHC nurses) in the Swedish Primary Child Health Care services (PCHC services). Therefore, there was a need to investigate the parents' perspective in-depth.
Aim
The aim of the study was to construct a theoretical model that could promote further understanding of the variety of experiences of parents of foreign origin regarding their interaction with the PCHC nurses at PCHC services.
Method
The study used Grounded Theory Methodology. Twenty-one parents of foreign origin in contact with PCHC servicies were interviewed.
Results
In our study parents were watchfully checking rapport, i.e. if they could perceive sympathy and understanding from the PCHC nurses. This was done by checking the nurse's demeanour and signs of judgement. From these interviews we created a theoretical model illustrating the interactive process between parents and PCHC nurses.
Conclusion
We found it to be of utmost importance for parents to be certain that it was possible to establish rapport with the PCHC nurse. If not, disruptions in the child's attendance at PCHC services could result. PCHC nurses can use the theoretical model resulting from this study as a basis for understanding parents, avoiding a demeanour and judgements that may cause misunderstandings thus promoting high-quality interaction in PCHC services.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-9-14
PMCID: PMC2918611  PMID: 20646287
4.  Keeping vigil over the profession: a grounded theory of the context of nurse anaesthesia practice 
BMC Nursing  2010;9:13.
Background
Nurse anaesthetists in the US have faced continued, repeated challenges to their profession. Regardless, they have met these challenges and have established themselves as major anaesthesia care providers. In this paper we address the research question: How do certified registered nurse anaesthetists (CRNAs) manage the socio-political context in which they provide care for their patients?
Methods
Grounded theory was used to explore how nurse anaesthetists protect and promote their profession. Purposive, snowball, and theoretical sampling was used and data were collected through participant observation and interviews conducted at a conference of the professional association, an educational program, by telephone, email exchanges, and time spent in operating rooms and an outpatient surgical clinic. Analysis included coding at increasingly abstract levels and constant comparison.
Results
The basic social process identified was Keeping Vigil Over the Profession, which explains how nurse anaesthetists protect and promote their profession. It is comprised of three contextual categories: Establishing Public Credibility through regulatory and educational standards, Political Vigilance and taking action in governmental and policy arenas, and Tending the Flock through a continuous information loop between local and administrative/political levels.
Conclusions
From our study of the context of nurse anaesthesia practice, it is clear that CRNAs are dedicated to protecting their ability to provide high quality patient care by maintaining constant vigilance over their profession.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-9-13
PMCID: PMC2912903  PMID: 20633286
5.  Prevention and treatment of intertrigo in large skin folds of adults: a systematic review 
BMC Nursing  2010;9:12.
Background
Intertrigo in the large skin folds is a common problem. There is a plethora of treatments, but a lack of evidence about their efficacy. A nursing guideline on this matter had to be updated and broadened in scope to other health care professionals.
Methods
A systematic review was performed. Thirteen databases were sensitively searched, supplemented by reference tracking and forward citation searches. All types of empirical research relating to the prevention or treatment of intertrigo were included. Study selection, assessment of bias, data-extraction and analysis were done by two independent review-authors.
Results
Sixty-eight studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Only 4 studies were RCTs and even these had a considerable risk of bias. Study populations were generally small.
No studies were found about the prevention of intertrigo. The therapies concerned mostly the topical application of antimycotics, corticosteroids, antibiotics, antiseptics or a combination of these. Besides these pharmaceutical interventions, surgical breast reduction was also studied. Although most study-authors were positive, we could not draw firm conclusions about any of the pharmaceutical interventions. Even patients that received placebo intervention showed improvement. There is weak evidence that reduction mammaplasty may be helpful to treat inframammary intertrigo. All research found had considerable risk of bias, prohibiting firm conclusions.
Conclusions
There is no evidence at all about the prevention of intertrigo and there is no firm evidence about its treatment. Well designed studies are needed.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-9-12
PMCID: PMC2918610  PMID: 20626853
6.  Master's level in primary health care education - students' and preceptors' perceptions and experiences of the alteration in the clinical areas 
BMC Nursing  2010;9:11.
Background
Many Western European countries are undergoing reforms with changes in higher education according to the Bologna declaration for Higher European Education Area. In accordance with these changes, the Master's degree was introduced in specialist nurse education in Sweden in 2007, and as a result changed the curriculum and modified theoretical and clinical areas. The aim of this study was to investigate students' and preceptors' perceptions and experiences of Master's level education in primary health care with a focus on the clinical area.
Methods
A descriptive design and qualitative approach was used. Interviews with ten students and ten preceptors were performed twice, before and after the clinical practice period. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and themes formulated.
Results
Students perceived alteration in the content of the education at the Master's level such as more independence and additional assignments. The preceptors perceived benefits with the Master's level but were unsure of how to transform theoretical and abstract knowledge into practice. Writing the Master's thesis was seen by students to take time away from clinical practice. For some students and preceptors the content of the Master's level clinical practice area was experienced as vague and indistinct. The students had not expected supervision to be different from earlier experiences, while preceptors felt higher demands and requested more knowledge. Both students and preceptors perceived that education at the Master's level might lead to a higher status for the nurses' profession in primary health care.
Conclusions
Students and preceptors experienced both advantages and disadvantages concerning the change in specialist nurse education in primary health care at the Master's level. The altered educational content was experienced as a step forward, but they also questioned how the new knowledge could be used in practice. The relevance of the Master's thesis was questioned. Supervision was seen by students as an introduction to the work of the district nurses' work. Preceptors perceived high demands and did not feel enough qualified for student supervision. Both groups considered it an advantage with the change in education that could result in higher status for nurses working in primary health care.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-9-11
PMCID: PMC2904288  PMID: 20553620
7.  Oncology patients' and professional nurses' perceptions of important nurse caring behaviors 
BMC Nursing  2010;9:10.
Background
Caring is the essence of nursing. Caring to be meaningful needs to be based on mutual agreement between nurses and patients as to what constitutes nurse caring behaviors. As a result, healthcare professional can enhance patients' satisfaction of care by providing appropriate caring behavior. However, previous research that combined multiple types of patients, nurses and institutions demonstrated disagreement in prioritizing important behaviors. This paper reports a study that aimed at determining the caring behaviors which oncology patients and oncology nurses perceive to be the most important.
Methods
This study is a comparative descriptive design that was conducted in an Iranian oncology centre. Convenience sampling was used to recruit 200 patients and 40 nurses to take part in the study. Data were collected over a period of 4 months in 2009 using the Caring Assessment Questionnaire, developed by Larson. Caring behaviors (n = 57) were ranked on a 5-point Likert-type scale and ordered in six subscales: "Being accessible", "Explains and facilitates", "Comforts", "Anticipates", "Trusting relationship", "Monitors and follows through". The data were analyzed using SPSS software version 13.0. The overall mean was calculated for each subscale to determine the rank distribution of the subscales. The nonparametric Mann-Whitney U test analysis of variables was used to compare patients' and nurses' scores on subscales.
Results
The results demonstrate that both groups considered the same order of importance of caring, the high ranking of "Monitors and Follows through and "Being Accessible" and the low ranking of "Comforts" and "Trusting Relationships". Also, Patients only ranked "Being accessible" (p = 0.04) and "Explains and facilitates" (p = 0.03) higher than nurses.
Conclusions
The oncology patients and nurses perceived highly physical aspects of caring and the results provide for nurses to be aware of the need, during their interactions with patients, to validate the effect their intended caring has upon patients. By so doing and with further refinement of the concept of caring for nursing in studies such as this, the practical aim of making patients feel cared for can be achieved.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-9-10
PMCID: PMC2902470  PMID: 20550677
8.  Informal caregivers of persons with dementia, their use of and needs for specific professional support: a survey of the National Dementia Programme 
BMC Nursing  2010;9:9.
Background
This paper describes both the use of and needs for informal caregivers of people with dementia, based on a questionnaire survey organized within the National Dementia Programme in the Netherlands. The National Dementia Programme is a quality collaborative of the Dutch Alzheimer's Association, the Institute of Quality of Healthcare (CBO) and the Knowledge Centre on Ageing (Vilans), instigated by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, to improve integrated care for people with dementia and their informal caregivers. The support needs of informal caregivers are important to improve caregiver well-being and delaying institutionalization of the person with dementia.
Methods
In the period April 2006 - January 2007, the National Dementia Programme questionnaire was completed by 984 informal caregivers. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the use of and needs for additional professional support by informal caregivers. Chi-square tests were used to assess the relationships between characteristics of the caregivers (spouses, sons/daughters, sons/daughters in-law) and support needs on one hand and to assess the relationship between the living situation of the person with dementia (living at home or living in a nursing home or home for the elderly) and support needs on the other hand.
Results
Almost all informal caregivers (92.6%) received some professional support. However, two thirds (67.4%) indicated they had one or more needs for additional professional support. Informal caregivers often need additional professional advice about what to do when their relative is frightened, angry of confused. Spouses reported different needs than sons or daughters (in-law): spouses relatively often need emotional support and sons or daughters (in-law) more often need information and coordination of dementia care.
Conclusions
Most of the informal caregivers report that they need additional information and advice, e.g. about how to cope with behavioral problems of their relative, about the progression of the illness trajectory, emotional support and coordination of dementia care. Future support programmes, e.g. in the field of case management, should address the specific needs of informal caregivers.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-9-9
PMCID: PMC2901350  PMID: 20529271
9.  Burnout in health-care professionals during reorganizations and downsizing. A cohort study in nurses 
BMC Nursing  2010;9:8.
Background
Burnout is a psychological reaction triggered by interaction between personal characteristics and stress factors. Reorganizations and downsizing with increased workload imply stress for health-care professionals. This is a study of burnout in nurses during a period with two comprehensive reorganizations.
Methods
In this quasi-experimental retrospective cohort study, burnout was assessed in nurses with long work experience in three surveys during a 30 months' period with two comprehensive reorganizations and downsizing of a hospital unit with mostly seriously ill patients with cancer. Burnout was measured with Bergen Burnout Indicator (BBI) at each survey, and "Sense of Coherence" (SOC) with Antonovsky's questionnaire at the last survey.
Results
One man and 45 women aged 30 to 65 years were invited to the surveys. There was a significant increase in burnout during the study period, the mean increase in BBI-score was 12.5 pr year (p < 0.001). The proportion of satisfied nurses at the first and last survey were 84% and 35% respectively, and the proportions with burnout were 0% and 29% respectively (p < 0.001). Except for auxiliary nurses with experience from the medical department, all subgroups experienced a significant increase in BBI. Burnout was associated with low SOC (p < 0.001, r square 0.33).
Conclusions
There was a significant development of burnout in a group of nurses during a period with two reorganizations and downsizing. Burnout was associated with low SOC. Working with seriously ill patients with cancer has probably made the nurses exceptionally vulnerable to the stress and workload related to the reorganizations.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-9-8
PMCID: PMC2900247  PMID: 20525338
10.  A striving for independence: a qualitative study of women living with vertebral fracture 
BMC Nursing  2010;9:7.
Background
Quantitative studies using generic and disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQOL) questionnaires have shown that osteoporosis-related vertebral fractures have a significant negative effect on HRQOL, but there are only few studies that address what it means to live with vertebral fracture from a deeper experiential perspective. How HRQOL and daily life are affected several years after vertebral fracture and how women cope with this are more unclear. This study aimed to describe how HRQOL and daily life had been affected in women with vertebral fracture several years after diagnosis.
Methods
The study design was qualitative. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten Swedish women during 2008. Data were analysed using qualitative inductive content analysis.
Results
The findings of this study revealed three themes related to the influence on HRQOL and daily life: A threatened independence, i.e. back pain, anxiety, negative impact on self-image and consequences in daily life; Strategies for maintaining independence, i.e. coping, self-care and support; and The importance of maintaining independence, i.e. the ability to perform everyday activities, social interaction and having something meaningful to do. The women were striving for independence or maintaining their independence by trying to manage different types of symptoms and consequences in different ways.
Conclusion
HRQOL and daily life were strongly affected in a negative way by the impact of the vertebral fracture. Information from this study may provide new knowledge and understanding of the women's experiences of living with vertebral fracture from an insider's point of view in order to obtain a deeper understanding of the women's everyday life. However, further evaluation is still needed in larger study groups.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-9-7
PMCID: PMC2873268  PMID: 20398360
11.  Cost minimization analysis of different growth hormone pen devices based on time-and-motion simulations 
BMC Nursing  2010;9:6.
Background
Numerous pen devices are available to administer recombinant Human Growth Hormone (rhGH), and both patients and health plans have varying issues to consider when selecting a particular product and device for daily use. Therefore, the present study utilized multi-dimensional product analysis to assess potential time involvement, required weekly administration steps, and utilization costs relative to daily rhGH administration.
Methods
Study objectives were to conduct 1) Time-and-Motion (TM) simulations in a randomized block design that allowed time and steps comparisons related to rhGH preparation, administration and storage, and 2) a Cost Minimization Analysis (CMA) relative to opportunity and supply costs. Nurses naïve to rhGH administration and devices were recruited to evaluate four rhGH pen devices (2 in liquid form, 2 requiring reconstitution) via TM simulations. Five videotaped and timed trials for each product were evaluated based on: 1) Learning (initial use instructions), 2) Preparation (arrange device for use), 3) Administration (actual simulation manikin injection), and 4) Storage (maintain product viability between doses), in addition to assessment of steps required for weekly use. The CMA applied micro-costing techniques related to opportunity costs for caregivers (categorized as wages), non-drug medical supplies, and drug product costs.
Results
Norditropin® NordiFlex and Norditropin® NordiPen (NNF and NNP, Novo Nordisk, Inc., Bagsværd, Denmark) took less weekly Total Time (p < 0.05) to use than either of the comparator products, Genotropin® Pen (GTP, Pfizer, Inc, New York, New York) or HumatroPen® (HTP, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Indiana). Time savings were directly related to differences in new package Preparation times (NNF (1.35 minutes), NNP (2.48 minutes) GTP (4.11 minutes), HTP (8.64 minutes), p < 0.05)). Administration and Storage times were not statistically different. NNF (15.8 minutes) and NNP (16.2 minutes) also took less time to Learn than HTP (24.0 minutes) and GTP (26.0 minutes), p < 0.05). The number of weekly required administration steps was also least with NNF and NNP. Opportunity cost savings were greater in devices that were easier to prepare for use; GTP represented an 11.8% drug product savings over NNF, NNP and HTP at time of study. Overall supply costs represented <1% of drug costs for all devices.
Conclusions
Time-and-motion simulation data used to support a micro-cost analysis demonstrated that the pen device with the greater time demand has highest net costs.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-9-6
PMCID: PMC2858139  PMID: 20377905
12.  Emotional reaction to diagnosis of infertility in Kuwait and successful clients' perception of nurses' role during treatment 
BMC Nursing  2010;9:5.
Background
The unfulfilled desire of millions of infertile couples worldwide to have their own biological children results in emotional distress. This study evaluated the emotional reactions of couples attending a combined infertility clinic in Kuwait and successful clients' perception of nurses.
Methods
Quantitative and qualitative methods were used. The first phase was by structured interview using two standardized psychological scales: the 25-item Hopkins Symptom Checklist and Modified Fertility Adjustment Scale. Data were collected from 268 couples attending the combined infertility clinic, between October 2002 and September 2007. The second phase was a semi-structured interview of 10 clients who got pregnant following treatment. The interview explored their feelings and perception of the nurses' role. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed.
Results
The average duration of infertility was 4 years; 65.7% of the women and 76.1% of men suffered from primary infertility. Emotional reactions experienced were: anxiety in women (12.7%) and men (6%), depression in women (5.2%) and men (14.9%) and reduced libido in women (6.7%) and men (29.9%). Also in men, 14.9% experienced premature ejaculation, 5.2% weak ejaculation and 7.9% had impotence although 4.9% were transient. In the semi-structured interviews, the emotions expressed were similar and in addition to anger, feelings of devastation, powerlessness, sense of failure and frustration. In the survey, 12.7% of the men were found to show more anxiety than women (6%). Although all the 10 women interviewed confirmed they were anxious; only 4 of their partners were reported to be sad or anxious. Successful clients' perception of nurses' roles included nurses carrying out basic nursing procedures, communicating, educating about investigative and treatment procedures, providing emotional support by listening, encouraging, reassuring and being empathetic.
Conclusions
This study illuminates the emotional reactions of infertile clients. Fertility nurses in Kuwait can provide emotional support through communication. The need for additional and continuous training for nurses employed in fertility settings in Kuwait is paramount.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-9-5
PMCID: PMC2851694  PMID: 20298604
13.  An efficacy trial of brief lifestyle intervention delivered by generalist community nurses (CN SNAP trial) 
BMC Nursing  2010;9:4.
Background
Lifestyle risk factors, in particular smoking, nutrition, alcohol consumption and physical inactivity (SNAP) are the main behavioural risk factors for chronic disease. Primary health care (PHC) has been shown to be an effective setting to address lifestyle risk factors at the individual level. However much of the focus of research to date has been in general practice. Relatively little attention has been paid to the role of nurses working in the PHC setting. Community health nurses are well placed to provide lifestyle intervention as they often see clients in their own homes over an extended period of time, providing the opportunity to offer intervention and enhance motivation through repeated contacts. The overall aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of a brief lifestyle intervention delivered by community nurses in routine practice on changes in clients' SNAP risk factors.
Methods/Design
The trial uses a quasi-experimental design involving four generalist community nursing services in NSW Australia. Services have been randomly allocated to an 'early intervention' group or 'late intervention' (comparison) group. 'Early intervention' sites are provided with training and support for nurses in identifying and offering brief lifestyle intervention for clients during routine consultations. 'Late intervention site' provide usual care and will be offered the study intervention following the final data collection point. A total of 720 generalist community nursing clients will be recruited at the time of referral from participating sites. Data collection consists of 1) telephone surveys with clients at baseline, three months and six months to examine change in SNAP risk factors and readiness to change 2) nurse survey at baseline, six and 12 months to examine changes in nurse confidence, attitudes and practices in the assessment and management of SNAP risk factors 3) semi-structured interviews/focus with nurses, managers and clients in 'early intervention' sites to explore the feasibility, acceptability and sustainability of the intervention.
Discussion
The study will provide evidence about the effectiveness and feasibility of brief lifestyle interventions delivered by generalist community nurses as part of routine practice. This will inform future community nursing practice and PHC policy.
Trial Registration
ACTRN12609001081202
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-9-4
PMCID: PMC2841173  PMID: 20175932
14.  Classifying nursing organization in wards in Norwegian hospitals: self-identification versus observation 
BMC Nursing  2010;9:3.
Background
The organization of nursing services could be important to the quality of patient care and staff satisfaction. However, there is no universally accepted nomenclature for this organization. The objective of the current study was to classify general hospital wards based on data describing organizational practice reported by the ward nurse managers, and then to compare this classification with the name used in the wards to identify the organizational model (self-identification).
Methods
In a cross-sectional postal survey, 93 ward nurse managers in Norwegian hospitals responded to questions about nursing organization in their wards, and what they called their organizational models. K-means cluster analysis was used to classify the wards according to the pattern of activities attributed to the different nursing roles and discriminant analysis was used to interpret the solutions. Cross-tabulation was used to validate the solutions and to compare the classification obtained from the cluster analysis with that obtained by self-identification. The bootstrapping technique was used to assess the generalizability of the cluster solution.
Results
The cluster analyses produced two alternative solutions using two and three clusters, respectively. The three-cluster solution was considered to be the best representation of the organizational models: 32 team leader-dominated wards, 23 primary nurse-dominated wards and 38 wards with a hybrid or mixed organization. There was moderate correspondence between the three-cluster solution and the models obtained by self-identification. Cross-tabulation supported the empirical classification as being representative for variations in nursing service organization. Ninety-four per cent of the bootstrap replications showed the same pattern as the cluster solution in the study sample.
Conclusions
A meaningful classification of wards was achieved through an empirical cluster solution; this was, however, only moderately consistent with the self-identification. This empirical classification is an objective approach to variable construction and can be generally applied across Norwegian hospitals. The classification procedure used in the study could be developed into a standardized method for classifying hospital wards across health systems and over time.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-9-3
PMCID: PMC2832780  PMID: 20181125
15.  Practice nurses' workload, career intentions and the impact of professional isolation: A cross-sectional survey 
BMC Nursing  2010;9:2.
Background
Practice nurses have a key role within UK general practice, especially since the 2004 GMS contract. This study aimed to describe that role, identify how professionally supported they felt and their career intentions. An additional aim was to explore whether they felt isolated and identify contributory factors.
Methods
A cross-sectional questionnaire survey in one large urban Scottish Health Board, targeted all practice nurses (n = 329). Domains included demographics, workload, training and professional support. Following univariate descriptive statistics, associations between categorical variables were tested using the chi-square test or chi-square test for trend; associations between dichotomous variables were tested using Fisher's Exact test. Variables significantly associated with isolation were entered into a binary logistic regression model using backwards elimination.
Results
There were 200 responses (61.0% response rate). Most respondents were aged 40 or over and were practice nurses for a median of 10 years. Commonest clinical activities were coronary heart disease management, cervical cytology, diabetes and the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Although most had a Personal Development Plan and a recent appraisal, 103 (52.3%) felt isolated at least sometimes; 30 (15.5%) intended leaving practice nursing within 5 years.
Isolated nurses worked in practices with smaller list sizes (p = 0.024) and nursing teams (p = 0.003); were less likely to have someone they could discuss a clinical/professional (p = 0.002) or personal (p < 0.001) problem with; used their training and qualifications less (p < 0.001); had less productive appraisals (p < 0.001); and were less likely to intend staying in practice nursing (p = 0.009). Logistic regression analysis showed that nurses working alone or in teams of two were 6-fold and 3.5-fold more likely to feel isolated. Using qualifications and training to the full, having productive appraisals and planning to remain in practice nursing all mitigated against feeling isolated.
Conclusions
A significant proportion of practice nurses reported feeling isolated, at least some of the time. They were more likely to be in small practices and more likely to be considering leaving practice nursing. Factors contributing to their isolation were generally located within the practice environment. Providing support to these nurses within their practice setting may help alleviate the feelings of isolation, and could reduce the number considering leaving practice nursing.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-9-2
PMCID: PMC2823612  PMID: 20205777
16.  Experience of unpleasant sensations in the mouth after injection of saline from prefilled syringes 
BMC Nursing  2010;9:1.
Background
Nurses at The Norwegian Radium Hospital have reported that some patients notice an unpleasant smell or taste in accordance with flushing of intravenous lines with commercially available prefilled syringes. We have conducted a study in healthy volunteers to investigate the occurrence, consistency and intensity of this phenomenon.
Methods
A randomised, blinded, crossover study comparing commercial available prefilled saline 9 mg/ml syringes to saline 9 mg/ml for injection in polyethylene package was performed in 10 healthy volunteers. The volunteers were given intravenous injections of varying volume and speed. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, and also Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test to compare groups.
Results
After intravenous injection, 2 of 15 recordings demonstrated any sensation of smell or taste after injection of saline from polyethylene package, while 14 of 15 recordings noted a sensation after injection of saline from prefilled syringes. The intensity of the unpleasant sensation was rated significantly higher after injection of saline from prefilled syringes compared to saline from polyethylene (p = 0.001).
Conclusions
Injection of saline from prefilled syringes in healthy volunteers resulted in an experience of bad taste or smell. It is important that nurses and health workers are aware of the phenomenon as described in this article in order to choose the preferred product for a given patient.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-9-1
PMCID: PMC2806387  PMID: 20076777

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