November 2003, Volume 33 Number 11 , p 47 - 49
Listening with the mind
How to avoid reinventing the wheel
Tell your story
STICK and FOCUS: Two ways to capture clinical questions
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Like other scientific professions, nursing relies on the evidence to support best practice. Here's how you can pass the benefits of nursing research along to your patientsand even make contributions of your own.
YEARS AGO, when coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery was becoming common, many bedside nurses observed that patients seemed depressed during the recovery period, even when surgery had gone well. But this discovery remained in the realm of intuition until a nurse named Carol Saur demonstrated that many patients recovering from CABG surgery do indeed suffer significant depression. Acting on her observations, she provided evidence to justify nursing and medical interventions on behalf of these vulnerable patients. Thanks to her research, depression after CABG surgery is now more readily recognized and treated.
Unfortunately, many nurses still perceive such a research project as a daunting undertaking not for the faint of heart. I hear nurses say, I don't have enough time to give good patient care, much less collect data for a study!
Yet the elements of evidence-based research are part of what you do every day. Patient care requires listening with the mind as well as the ears. When a patient verbalizes a problem, you formulate a plan for intervention. As she responds to therapy, you mentally collect the data you need to decide if the intervention was effective. This is nursing research in action. (See Nursing Research: A Tool for Action .)
Today, you're expected to engage in evidence-based practice at the bedside for a very ...