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EBP and Global Health: U.S. Healthcare

Abstract

Being a relatively recent change to the existing nursing system, the adoption of evidence-based practice (EBP) as the key tool for nursing specialists in addressing the needs of their patients has triggered a range of issues, the necessity to reconsider the process of nurses’ training being the key concern. A European experience of adopting the EBP concept in the realm of nursing suggests that the specified approach works especially well when the necessity for the patient to receive the support of their family members rises. With the integration of EBP in oncology nursing, the opportunity for improving the well-being of the patients, especially children, by promoting communication between them and their parents, rises increasingly.

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Introduction: Evidence-Based Practice as a Nursing Approach

Though the adoption of evidence-based practice (EBP) in nursing is associated with a number of issues, particularly, the process of nursing skills acquisition and training, EBP is used widely and quite successfully in the 21st century healthcare. Moreover, EBP is considered a crucial addition to the current set of nursing principles (Brown, 2013).

The significance of EBP is predetermined by the flexibility, which it provides nursing specialists with in addressing unique cases; offering nurses a certain freedom of choice regarding the type of strategy, as well as freedom of interpretation of the doctor’s prescriptions, EBP helps shape the suggested intervention or therapy strategy so that it could meet the needs of a certain patient. EBP is traditionally identified as an approach “designed by clinical project teams” (Brown, 2013, p. 12) and is currently supposed to break new grounds in nursing (Brown, 2013).

Evidence-Based Practice and Why Nurses Should Adopt It

With all due respect to the endeavors of nursing specialists to reinforce the concept of patient-centered approach in healthcare and consider the establishment of a strategy, which would allow to tailor the theoretical framework to unique cases, therefore, making it more flexible, EBP has a number of flaws (Brown, 2013). The lack of factors promoting further knowledge acquisition among nurses seems to be the major problem with the EBP strategy (McDonnell, Gerrish, Kirshbaum, Nolan & Tod, 2012). However, the above-mentioned problem can be addressed with the introduction of FLN training carried out by APNs. As researches show, the promotion of the ability to make an independent choice in favor of the most adequate source of instruction, as well as a proper data collection strategy, usually takes place at a relatively fast pace and with comparatively fruitful results (McDonnell et al., 2012).

Therefore, the necessity for nurses to adopt EBP is obvious. EBP helps approach unique cases with due care and responsibility, as well as provide maximum care to the patient. Moreover, EBP is an obvious foot forward in the 21st century nursing. Supported by a range of programs, EBP is clearly an essential, part of modern nursing.

The Necessity for Nurses to Understand Research Methods in EBP

As it has been stressed above, the lack of support for promoting acquisition of proper information by nursing specialists is obviously the key flaw of the EBP strategy. Herein the necessity for nurses to understand the research methods in EBP lies. Without a clear theoretical foundation to base their search for information, nurses are literally incapable of delivering high quality services to the patients, as researches show (Jaffe & Cowell, 2014).

The significance of the research methods adopted by nurses in EBP escalates as the necessity of developing a protocol emerges (Brown, 2013, p. 7). Seeing that the design of the following care for the patient is based mostly on the information added to the protocol, it is imperative that an adequate research method, as well as a method of proper data collection, must be adopted by a nursing specialist. The need for carrying out a proper research before adopting the EBP strategy to a particular case has recently grown even greater because of the unwillingness of nurses to retrieve relevant data and, therefore, affecting the health of patients in a negative way (Jaffe & Cowell, 2014).

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Evidence-Based Practice around the World. Nursing in Sweden

Despite its major flaws, EBP enjoys quite impressive popularity as a tool in nursing care both in U.S. and in Europe. Moreover, Swedish healthcare specialists seem to have invented a way to address the problem with information acquisition, which EBP has become notorious for in the United States (Melnyk, Fineout-Overholt, Gallagher-Ford & Kaplan, 2012). In their attempt to integrate the EBP principles into oncology nursing, Swedish healthcare specialists have discovered the influence, which EBP has on the promotion of emotional connection between young patients and their family members, as well as the immense positive effect, which the aforementioned connection has on the health status of the patients.

Indeed, according to the results of the research carried out among the patients of pediatric oncology facilities, EBP nursing affects young patients in a most positive way (Falk et al., 2012). The fact that the policy in the visitation of oncologic patients has been changed towards (“The governance representatives then voted to amend the policy to allow child visitation” (Falk, Wongsa, Dang, Comer & LoBiondo-Wood, 2012, p. 22)) after the adoption of the EBP strategy as a tool for proving the efficacy of communication with family members is alone a graphic proof of the powerful effect, which EBP has on nursing. It is quite remarkable that the absence of evidence identified after the EBP procedure was, nevertheless, used successfully in the process of the study: “The searches were dated from 1990 to 2008. Although the search was exhaustive, the team found no evidence to support the child visitation restriction” (Falk et al., 2012, p. 21).

Indeed, by shaping the current nursing policies with the help of EBP, the Swedish nursing experts have proven the efficacy of EBP as a tool for information acquisition. The case in point shows that the EBP practice was efficient enough to not only collect the data required for proving the point, but also created the premises for establishing an entirely new approach towards addressing the needs of oncologic patients. Even though the power of communication between patients and their family members has been known for quite long, the actual implications of the above-mentioned approach became evident only after the integration of EBP into the nursing research. Therefore, Swedish nurses have literally broken new grounds in defining the role of EBP in nursing (Falk et al., 2012).

It should be noted, though, that the success of the research was largely predetermined by the method of information search chosen. First and most obvious, the formation of PACT (professional action coordinating team (Falk et al., 2012, p. 21)) defined the success of the information acquisition process, since it allowed for a better coordination of nursing specialists’ actions and a more careful analysis of the sources available.

In addition, the efforts of the team were aimed at determining the veracity of the sources retrieved, which predisposed the premises for information sources validity. Therefore, the major problem of EBP, i.e., the lack of instruction, was avoided in the course of the study successfully. The Swedish nursing specialists, thus, have provided a stellar example for their American colleagues to follow in order to improve the instructions retrieval, as well as the available resources location and analysis carried out by American nurses.

Summary and Conclusion

Though the EBP approach presupposes dealing with a range of challenges for the U.S. healthcare, in Europe, the given approach seems to have become a very efficient means of addressing the needs of patients because of a different approach in information management. A recent case study has shown that Swedish nurses have managed to promote an entirely new principle of family therapy into the existing set of nursing strategies, therefore, improving the quality of healthcare.

Despite the fact that Swedish nurses have encountered the same problem of information veracity check, a more responsible approach towards the retrieval of the necessary data has helped improve the EBP system a few notches and adopt it as unique tool in addressing complicated nursing issues. The lessons learned from the experience of the Swedish nurses are clearly worth taking into account. Dealing with a range of conflicts, particularly, the necessity to motivate nurses for further knowledge acquisition, the U.S. healthcare experts could definitely use the ideas suggested by their Swedish colleagues.

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Reference List

Brown, S. J. (2013). Evidence-based nursing: The research-practice connection (3rd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Falk, J., Wongsa, S., Dang, J., Comer, L. & LoBiondo-Wood, G. (2012). Using an evidence-based practice process to change child visitation guidelines. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 16(1), 21–23.

Jaffe, R. & Cowell, J. M. (2014). Approaches for improving literature review methods. The Journal of School Nursing, 30(4), 236–239.

McDonnell, A., Gerrish, K., Kirshbaum, M., Nolan, M. & Tod, A. (2012). The perceived impact of Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) on promoting evidence-based practice amongst frontline nurses: Findings from a collective case study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67(5), 1079–1090.

Melnyk, B. M., Fineout-Overholt, E., Gallagher-Ford, L. & Kaplan, L. (2012). The state of evidence-based practice in US nurses: Critical implications for nurse leaders and educators. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 42(9), 410–417.

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