The phrase Evidence-based practice emerged in the early 1980s and it was used to depict a method that uses scientific evidence for purposes of evaluating the best practice. Evidence-based practice in nursing according to Barker (2009) is a problem solving method used by nurses as well as clinicians for purposes of providing quality and effective nursing care to patients. The practice involves the use of the current best evidence judiciously, carefully, and explicitly in an effort to make appropriate decisions about individual care for every patient. Studies indicate that through the use of evidence-based practice in nursing, it is possible to make better clinical decisions and most importantly better patient outcome (Thompson et al, 2003). Evidence-based practice provides nurses with the necessary tools required to enable them take full control of their nursing practices and to transform the health care sector into an effective and efficient system.
Evidence based stroke rehabilitation
Stroke is a very serious and yet common condition experienced by patients, and this condition does not have a particular curative management. Consequently, nurses and stroke patients have to deal with the burden of disability since there is no one particular method of treatment that can be cited as the most widely applied. Stroke rehabilitation intervention by nurses remains the most relied upon approach in post stroke care (Pravikoff et al., 2005).The process of stroke rehabilitation involves a change in the life of the patient from his or her life before stroke to a life after stroke which may involve some disabilities. The rehabilitation nurses and the patient discuses the way forward, in relation to the stroke event and the possible repercussion. Evidence based stroke rehabilitation therefore, is a problem solving process geared towards mitigating effects such as impairment, and disability caused by the disease.
In an effort to provide high quality health care and excellent patient outcome, rehabilitation nurses must base their clinical decision and management activities on high quality information obtained through an in-depth fact finding mission. Thus, in rehabilitation nursing, the application of evidence based practice is premised on three aspects which include: question formulation, searching and assessing the information that is applicable, and lastly, utilizing such knowledge for purposes of providing care to the patients at all time.
The question formulated should be comprehensive in nature, and it must entail aspects such as challenges met by nurses in their day to day rehabilitation activities, and the quality of care. These questions may be derived from participation in research groups. Formulating a research question is followed by searching and assessing the information that is applicable to obtain tested and proven facts about stroke rehabilitation. This step is important as it helps the nurse to separate irrelevant and relevant information. The last step, involves application of the relevant information for purposes of providing high quality post stroke care and achieving better patient outcome (Barker, 2009).
The application of evidence based practice in rehabilitation nursing has numerous advantages such as providing the patients with high quality post stroke care, the nurses are able to take charge of their rehabilitation practice, the application of evidence based practice in rehabilitation nursing also ensures that the nursing practice in this form of intervention is updated regularly, and finally better patient outcome is achieved (Berwick, 2003).
Some of the challenges encountered while implementing evidence based practice in rehabilitation nursing may include the fact that most interventions in regard to stroke are traditionally designed for purposes of achieving the needs of a particular patient. It is therefore difficult to apply such evidence to another patient because each case is peculiar in its own way. Another challenge to evidence based practice in rehabilitation nursing is that most of the existing literature provide information about post stroke therapy to alleviate a particular body function. Other challenges include: difficulty in adopting new practices among rehabilitation nurses, lack of administrative support, low value attached to research in the nursing practice, absence of mentors who are knowledgeable about the importance of research, lack of knowledge on how to conduct research, inadequate time to carry out a research, ignorance of the fact that evidence-based practice exist, absence or difficulty in obtaining research articles and reports, and finally complexity of research information (Pravikoff et al., 2005).
Notwithstanding the aforementioned obstacles, nurses should always strive to engage in evidence-based practice for purposes of making a difference in the patient healthcare. What’s more, these obstacles can be done away with through efforts that are aimed at incorporating research evidence in nursing practice, as well as using approaches such as nursing grand rounds, availing research reports to nurses, and organizing journal clubs for nurses (Berwick, 2003).
Indeed, evidence-based practice is an integral part of nursing practice and it ensure that nurses are able to provide their patients with high quality health care. The practice will be founded on research evidence and understanding, rather than giving such care based on textbooks that are overtaken by events, or advice from fellow nurses, or myths, and traditions. It is therefore important, to develop the culture of evidence-based practice among nurses during and after their college years. What’s more, integrating evidence-based practice in the day-to-day practice provides nurses with the necessary tools required to enable them take full control of their nursing practices, and to transform the health care sector into an effective and efficient system.
Barker, J. (2009). Evidence-Based Practice for Nurses. London: SAGE publishers.
Berwick, M. (2003). Disseminating innovations in health care. The Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 289. No. 15, pp. 1969–1975.
Pravikoff, S., et al. (2005). Readiness of U.S. nurses for evidence-based practice. American Journal of Nursing, Vol. 105. No. 9, pp. 40–51.
Thompson, C., et al. (2001). Research information in nurses’ clinical decision-making: What is useful. Journal of Advanced Nursing, Vol. 36. No. 3, pp. 376–388.