Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing

What are good evidence-based practice nursing examples?

What can you learn from the examples?

What is the place of evidence-based practice (EBP) in nursing?

Applying evidence-based practice in nursing requires you to review and assess the most recent research and then use the acquired knowledge to transform care delivery.

Accordingly, new findings may require you to change a standard nursing care policy.

The change should be discussed with the nursing management before it is implemented.

After gaining support, you can go ahead and align your new knowledge with provided policies, procedures, and nursing implementations with patient values to provide the best care possible.

Evidence-Based Practice for Nursing Students

Nursing students are required to learn how to apply evidence-based practice in care delivery.

In the course of their training, they will be required to demonstrate an understanding of EBP.

This may include coming up with suitable evidence-based practice topics for their EBP nursing projects.

So, what nursing EBP areas can you explore?

There numerous areas you can seek to implement EBP.

This is reflected in different evidence-based practice nursing examples.

These examples provide good templates for nursing students on how to implement evidence-based practice.

From the examples, you can learn how to:

  1. Ask the PICOT question
  2. Search for literature and
  3. Appraise literature

Evidence-Based Practice Nursing Examples

Examples of evidence-based practice nursing areas can cover different aspects of care delivery.

Common examples include:

Intestinal Blockage Prevention after Abdominal Surgery

This is one of the common evidence-based practice nursing examples.

It has been observed that post-surgery abdominal blockage is an often occurrence among abdominal surgery patients.

Also known as postoperative ileus (POI), it causes intense pain to the patient.

Evidence-Based Practice

A care team can study POI among patients.

Questions to ask in the study may include:

  1. What approaches are used to reduce POI incidences?
  2. What different categories of approved approaches exist?
  3. What are effectiveness levels of the approaches?

Data gathered through the above questions can be used to develop POI prevention protocols.

For instance, evidence-based practice indicate that chewing gum is one of the most effective POI prevention approaches.

Infection Control

Infection control is another of the most common examples of evidence-based nursing practice areas.

Studies indicate that hospital-acquired infections are prevalent in healthcare facilities.

For various reasons, they are a major source of concern in a healthcare setting.

Evidence-Based Practice

To enhance the management of infections, a nursing team can gather information about effective prevention.

The study could be guided by questions such as:

  1. What approaches can be used to prevent the spread of infections?
  2. What are the existing strategies?
  3. How effective are the strategies?

Information gathered can be used to shape nursing policies and procedures in relation to infections.

For example, studies show that hand-washing, barrier precautions, and personal protective clothing are effective in infections control.

Reduction of Stress in Nurses

Reduction of stress in nurses is also one of the interesting evidence-based practice nursing examples.  

Nursing practice is associated with high levels of stress and anxiety.

Excessive stress can cause depression and burnout, which consequently impairs the quality of care provided to patients.

Evidence-Based Practice

Nurses can form a team to investigate approaches towards mitigation or reduction of stress in the nurse work environment.

Questions guiding such a study may include:

  1. What are the causes of stress among nurses?
  2. What approaches can be used to reduce stress among nurses?
  3. What are the existing approaches?
  4. How effective are these approaches?

Data gathered should be used to inform nursing practice policies and procedures.

For instance, it has been observed that mindfulness-base stress reduction (MBSR) is an effective strategy in the management of psychological distress among nurses.

Oxygen Use in COPD Patients

Oxygen therapy among COPD patients presents another area to explore for evidence-based practice examples in nursing.

The use of oxygen as a therapy has in the past been controversial.

It was believed to cause serious health complications such as acidosis, hypercarbia, or even death.

However, today the therapy is considered essential in preventing hypoxia or organ failure in COPD patients.

Evidence-Based Practice

Nurses can study the most effective oxygen therapy protocols for COPD patients.

Questions to guide the study may include:

  1. What COPD therapies exist?
  2. How effective are the therapies?
  3. How should oxygen therapy for COPD patients be administered?

The study result could be used to update the existing protocols.

For instance, is have been observed that proper oxygen therapy can prolong the life of COPD patients.

Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is another area to explore for evidence-based practice nursing examples.

Studies indicate that proper hand hygiene has been effective in preventing the spread of hospital-acquired infections.

Cleanliness in patient care continues to be an important areas of focus in healthcare settings.

Evidence-Based Practice

Teams of nurses can work together to find the most effective protocols in hand hygiene.

Questions to guide the study may include:

  1. What are the existing hygiene protocols?
  2. What hand hygiene protocols are most commonly used?
  3. How effective are the existing protocols?  

Information gathered can be used to improve the current hand hygiene procedures and protocols.

For example, 70% or alcohol-based antiseptic hand rub has been found to be the most effective decontaminant.

Noninvasive Blood Pressure Measurement in Children

Measuring blood pressure in children using the noninvasive method is another area to explore for evidence-based practice in nursing.

It is necessary to ensure that pressure is measured accurately to enhance the effectiveness of treatment.

In children however, the procedure is entirely different to that of adults.

Evidence-Based Practice

Nursing teams should conduct a study to find the most effective way to measure blood pressure in children.

The study should be guided by questions such as:

  1. What are the existing approaches to measuring blood pressure in children?
  2. How effective are the approaches?
  3. What instruments and conditions are necessary for the auscultatory method?

Data collected should be used to modify blood pressure measurement procedures in children.

For example, an aneroid non-mercury manometer should be used to perform at least three measurements on different occasions.

Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

As well, ventilator-associated pneumonia provides good evidence-based practice nursing examples.

Ventilator-associated pneumonia as a nosocomial infection is a major concern in nursing.

Estimates indicate that it affects between 10% and 20% of patients under prolonged periods of mechanical ventilation.

Evidence-Based Practice

Nurses can carry out a study to determine the best practices in ventilator management to help reduce cases of pneumonia infection.

Questions to ask include:

  1. What are the existing ventilation protocols?
  2. How effective are the protocols?
  3. What does recent scientific research say about ventilator-associated pneumonia?

Results from the studies should be used to shape new protocols and practices.

For example, studies indicate that head elevation at 30-45 degrees should be adopted.

Fall Prevention

Fall prevention is another area where nurses can seek to implement evidence-based practice.

Although preventable, patient falls are a common problem in hospitals.

Studies show that about 30% of patient falls result into injury.

These injuries impact negatively on patient outcomes and healthcare costs.

Evidence-Based Practice

A team of nurses could work together to explore the most effective strategies in fall prevention.

Questions guiding the study may include:

  1. What strategies are used to prevent falls in hospitals?
  2. What different categories do the strategies fall into?
  3. How effective are the existing strategies?

Answers to these questions can be used to change policies and guidelines on fall prevention.

For example, feet and footwear assessment has been shown to reduce falls in hospitals.

Intravenous Catheter Size and Blood Administration

Evidence-based practice nursing examples can also include an examination of intravenous catheter size in blood administration.

Intravenous blood transfusions can result into multiple complications such as allergic reactions, hemolytic reactions, infections, transfusion-associated overload, transfusion-related lung injury, and electrolyte imbalance.

Some of the complications are associated with the catheter size, particularly in children.

Evidence-Based Practice

Nurses can form teams to investigate the best practices regarding catheter size in blood transfusion.

They can ask questions such as:

  1. What are the existing practices?
  2. What complications are associated with catheter size?
  3. How effective are the existing practices?

Results from the study can be used to guide changes in the existing guidelines.

For instance, it has been noted that a 20-gauge or larger catheter should be used to prevent hemolysis.

Pain Management

Pain management presents one the key examples of evidence-based nursing practice areas for practitioners and nursing students.

Pain is a common phenomenon in all clinical settings.

Although commonly categorized as chronic or acute, it is a complex physical, social, and psychological phenomenon that affects individuals differently.

It is an important factor in determining the quality of care delivered.

Evidence-Based Practice

Nurses can study effective practices in areas like pain assessment or pain medication.

A study on pain medication would be guided by questions such as:

  1. What are the existing pain interventions?
  2. How effective are the interventions?
  3. Which is the most effective intervention or combination of interventions?

Results from the can be used to direct new protocols and guidelines.

For example, studies indicate that there is need to incorporate multimodal non-opioid approaches in acute pain management in combination with possible opioid therapy.

Essie Fitz is a registered nurse with over 15 years experience in pain management, hospice care, and ICU.
She enjoys mentoring new nurses and nursing students.
She loves nature, reading, writing, and good music.

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