Evidence Based Practice

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Nursing is probably the most holistic health-related profession. It warrants the nurse to approach one’s practice in a manner that not only focuses on the health issues of the patient but rather encompassing the whole well being of the person. Which includes the physical and physiological, mental, psychosocial, and emotional aspect of the client or service user. It is therefore necessary for the nurse to have a wide array of knowledge, skills and attitude to deal with it. In so far as knowledge and skills are concerned, the nurse can readily make use of different tools to aid his or her practice.

This essay will explore the context of evidence based practice in nursing. It will be defined based on the studies of people accounted in such work and how these changes have drawn the emergence of such. This would include its importance in the nursing profession and its contribution to healthcare. Furthermore, challenges, barriers and needs of care practitioners would be identified and elaborated. Change theory will also be discussed as change in the healthcare system is considered the catalyst in the emergence of evidence based practice and it is also the reason why evidence based practice is not yet widespread because people are hesitant to adapt to changes.

Changes in the health care system and the needs of client is unending and thus the need to update one’s profession is tantamount in order to provide proper and optimum care to the clients through continual training, formal education and seminars and the use of evidence based practice. The inclusion and implementation of evidence based practice into nursing has long been recognised as an important aspect of the development and emergence of updated quality healthcare. The aim of evidence based practice (EBP) being to help clinicians base their actions on the best current evidence.(Sacket, 1996).

As the demand of clients for better and more individualized care continues, professionals are increasingly challenged to meet the ascending expectations. This is putting an emphasis on the importance of continual improvement of practice. Practitioners now are not only tasked to be skilful and knowledgeable. Critical thinking and sensitivity are also of importance. In addition, legal and ethical obligations need to be taken into consideration. Thus, the need for continuous updating is vital.

Evidence based practice in nursing can be equated with Evidence based medicine in approach and use of evidences. Historically, the theory of evidence based medicine (EBM) originates back to mid-19th century Paris and earlier. Sackett (1996) describes EBM as: “the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.

The practice of EBM means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research.” So, more generally, evidence based Practice (EBP) is the application of such principles across the broad field of health care. Moreover, Muir Gray (1997) describes EBP as: “an approach to decision-making in which the clinician uses the best evidence available.” As mentioned earlier, patient care must be individualized. That being the case, there is a need for the clinician to consolidate patient preference, clinical experience and thoroughly researched evidence. Appropriate care depends considerably on the needs of the patient and it varies from one individual depending on the circumstances.

Nursing profession has gone from basing interventions from traditional and ritualistic practices to a more scientifically based process. Evidence-based concepts are essential in providing care to patient problems in a particular setting and play a vital role in the nursing profession since nurses are professionally, ethically and legally accountable for the care they provide patients. (NMC, 2002) In relation to nursing, evidence-based concepts, evidences would be of...
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