One of the key principles in medicine today is evidence-based practice in nursing (EBP). This is the practice of medicine based on solid research, and it adheres to standards for high quality and safety, all while focusing on patients’ needs. This is also why EBP is typically part of RN to BSN program curriculum.
Examples of EBP in Nursing
There are many examples of EBP in the daily practice of nursing.
1. Infection Control
The last thing a patient wants when going to a hospital for treatment is a hospital-acquired infection. Nurses play a key role in helping to prevent illness before it happens by adhering to evidence-based infection-control policies. This includes keeping the healthcare environment clean, wearing personal protective clothing, using barrier precautions and practicing correct handwashing. Although nurses are busy with many responsibilities, the time it takes to control infection is well worth the effort.
2. Oxygen Use in Patients with COPD
For patient health and safety, it is essential that nurses follow evidence-based practice in nursing when it comes to giving oxygen to patients with COPD. Despite the belief by some that providing oxygen to these patients can create serious issues such as hypercarbia, acidosis or even death, the evidence-based protocol is to provide oxygen to COPD patients. This practice can help prevent hypoxia and organ failure. Giving oxygen, which is the correct treatment based on the evidence, can enhance COPD patients’ quality of life and help them live longer.
3. Measuring Blood Pressure Noninvasively in Children
Nurses should measure blood pressure according to evidence-based practice because accurate measurements are an essential part of effective treatment. Measuring blood pressure in children is a different procedure than it is for adults. Measuring children’s blood pressure involves the auscultatory method, then comparing the measurement against data gathered with the oscillometric method.
4. Intravenous Catheter Size and Blood Administration
Nurses should follow EBP when using intravenous catheters to administer blood for packed red blood cell transfusions (PRBC). The protocol indicates that nurses should use a smaller-gauge catheter, which increases patient comfort.
Areas Where More EBP Is Necessary
Although nurses are using more evidence-based practice, there is still some room for improvement. The following are some areas where nurses could better adhere to EBP:
- Communication involving changes in a patient’s status.
- Soft skills that improve patient interaction.
- Training and onboarding new nurses.
- Shift scheduling and the effect on care.
Because new research and evidence become available on an ongoing basis, EBP must adapt to the latest evidence. Often, old practices may need to change if new research overturns the principles behind them.
Evidence-based practice in nursing has advanced a great deal in recent years, and it will continue to do so.
Learn more about the A-State online RN to BSN program.