This paper aims to present a theoretical account of professional nursing challenges involved in providing care to patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The study objectives are patients' and nurses' expectations, goals and approaches to assisted personal body care.
The provision of help with body care may have therapeutic qualities but there is only limited knowledge about the particularities and variations in specific groups of patients and the nurse-patient interactions required to facilitate patient functioning and well-being. For patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, breathlessness represents a particular challenge in the performance of body care sessions.
We investigated nurse-patient interactions during assisted personal body care, using grounded theory with a symbolic interaction perspective and a constant comparative method.
Twelve cases of nurse-patient interactions were analysed. Data were based on participant observation, individual interviews with patients and nurses and a standardized questionnaire on patients' breathlessness.
Nurses and patients seemed to put effort into the interaction and wanted to find an appropriate way of conducting the body care session according to the patients' specific needs. Achieving therapeutic clarity in nurse-patient interactions appeared to be an important concern, mainly depending on interactions characterized by: (i) reaching a common understanding of the patient's current conditions and stage of illness trajectory, (ii) negotiating a common scope and structuring body care sessions and (iii) clarifying roles.
It cannot be taken for granted that therapeutic qualities are achieved when nurses provide assistance with body care. If body care should have healing strength, the actual body care activities and the achievement of therapeutic clarity in nurses' interaction with patients' appear to be crucial.
The paper proposes that patients' integrity and comfort in the body care session should be given first priority and raises attention to details that nurses should take into account when assisting severely ill patients.
This study evaluated the incidence of inappropriate use of bed days in Danish medical wards using the European Appropriateness Evaluation Protocol (AEP). Several European countries have used the AEP to assess the appropriateness of hospitalisation days.
The study was carried out in four Danish medical wards from October 2004 to January 2005. On pre-selected days a doctor and nurse performed case record analyses of all hospitalised patients with registration of the AEP criteria. To assess activities during the entire day, the screening comprised activities from the previous day.
Altogether, 738 patients were reviewed. On average, 32.1% of hospitalisation days on the four wards were assessed as inappropriate (range 19.2-39.2%). Lack of alternative facilities (different outpatient services, rehabilitation, home nursing, etc.) and internal waiting time for diagnostic tests were the most common causes of inappropriate bed use. 6.4% of bed days were considered appropriate from a clinical point of view even though no AEP criteria were met.
In order to reduce the number of inappropriate hospital days, it is necessary to optimise the cooperation with the primary health care sector and ensure immediate availability of diagnostic tests.
Family-centred service, functional goal setting and co-ordination of a child's move between programmes are important concepts of rehabilitation services for children with cerebral palsy identified in the literature. We examined whether these three concepts could be objectively identified in programmes providing services to children with cerebral palsy in Alberta, Canada.
Programme managers (n= 37) and occupational and physical therapists (n= 54) representing 59 programmes participated in individual 1-h semi-structured interviews. Thirty-nine parents participated in eleven focus groups or two individual interviews. Evidence of family-centred values in mission statements and advisory boards was evaluated. Therapists were asked to identify three concepts of family-centred service and to complete the Measures of Process of Care for Service Providers. Therapists also identified therapy goals for children based on clinical case scenarios. The goals were coded using the components of the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health. Programme managers and therapists discussed the processes in their programmes for goal setting and for preparing children and their families for their transition to other programmes. Parents reflected on their experiences with their child's rehabilitation related to family-centredness, goal setting and co-ordination between programmes.
All respondents expressed commitment to the three concepts, but objective indicators of family-centred processes were lacking in many programmes. In most programmes, the processes to implement the three concepts were informal rather than standardized. Both families and therapists reported limited access to general information regarding community supports.
Lack of formal processes for delivery of family-centred service, goal-setting and co-ordination between children's programmes may result in inequitable opportunities for families to participate in their children's rehabilitation despite attending the same programme. Standardized programme processes and policies may provide a starting point to ensure that all families have equitable opportunities to participate in their child's rehabilitation programme.
This paper presents a study of prehospital care with particular focus on how ambulance personnel prepare themselves for their everyday assignments.
The caring science field study took a phenomenological approach, where data were analyzed for meaning. Two specialist ambulance nurses, three registered nurses, and six paramedics participated.
The previously known discrepancy between in-hospital care and prehospital care was further interpreted in this study. The pre-information from an emergency medical dispatch (EMD) center provides ambulance personnel with basic expectations as to what they will have to take care of. At the same time that they maintain their certainty and control, our major findings indicate that prehospital care in emergency medical service requires the personnel to be prepared for an open and flexible encounter with the patient; to be prepared for the unprepared, i.e., to be open and to avoid being governed by predetermined statements.
Our findings suggest that the outcomes of good prehospital care affect patient security. The seemingly time-consuming dialogue with the patient facilitates understanding and decision-making regarding the patient's medical needs, and it is comforting to the patient. The ambulance personnel need to be well prepared for this task and fully understand that the situation might differ considerably from the information provided by the EMD centers. All objective information is of great value in this care context, but ultimately it is the patient who provides reliable information about her/his own situation.
Rapid postpartum discharge has reduced opportunities to detect early newborn or parenting problems and to teach neonatal assessment and maternal postpartum care to medical trainees.
Development of a program to not only ensure adequate care of mothers and newborns after early hospital discharge, but also to teach outpatient assessment skills to family medicine residents.
In an urban, secondary care, university-affiliated teaching hospital predominantly training family medicine residents, an interdisciplinary committee created and supervised a neonatal and maternal postpartum assessment program. Newborn infants and their mothers are seen by a family physician, a family medicine resident, and a nurse within 48 hours of discharge, after which care is assumed in the community by the child's primary care physician. An assessment protocol developed by the interdisciplinary group promotes standardized mother and child care and a structured learning experience for trainees.
Rapid follow up of early discharged infants and their mothers can be facilitated by a program of standardized assessment by a roster of pooled, interacting family physicians and nurses. When this assessment occurs in a teaching milieu, a comprehensive learning experience can be combined with defined objectives that emphasize and encourage newborn and maternal assessment for ambulatory patients.
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