Evidence-based practice (EBP) has facilitated transformation of nursing practice from tradition-oriented to science-oriented. It has enhanced data collection, judgment, and enabled nurses to acquire essential skills. This paper will have three primary parts. The first part will discuss the importance of evidence-based practices in the nursing career. The second part will explain why nurses should understand research methods to utilize evidence-based practice effectively. The third part will discuss how nurses use evidence-based practice to enhance global healthcare.
Nurses use evidence-based practice to treat and guide patients. They use available evidence to handle varied diseases. For instance, there is a lot of data that attribute lung cancer to smoking. Thus, nurses look for evidence of such data and use it to discourage patients from smoking. According to Bonell (2001), evidence-based practice promotes “three-factor interactions that include clinical expertise, patient values, and the best available evidence” (p. 19). Evidence-based practice not only helps to resolve healthcare challenges, but also spot knowledge gaps and assess evidence to enhance clinical expertise. Evidence-based practice enables nurses to reduce operation costs. Bonell (2001) argues that it is easy to monitor EBP and initiate appropriate changes. Hence, EBP guarantees that patients receive the best health services at all times. Nurses ought to have skills in research methods to implement evidence-based practice. They use research methods to evaluate critically the available data on nursing practices and develop an EBP guideline. In Australia, nurses use EBP to help patients with type 2 diabetes.
Importance of Using Evidence-Based Practice
In a model planet, “nurses could keep up to date by reading all of the published literature in their relevant areas” (Bonell, 2001, p. 21). However, it is difficult for nurses and other healthcare practitioners to read all the available publications. Multiple journals are published annually making it hard for nurses to sift through all of them due to the nature of their work. Evidence-based practice enables nurses to acquaint themselves with pertinent novel information without having to read a lot of publications. Evidence-based practice entails making decisions based on the available facts. Thus, it facilitates decision-making processes among the nurses. Bonell (2001) maintains that the evidence-based practice enables nurses to defend their decisions. Besides, it offers them an opportunity to evaluate different nursing alternatives and select the most appropriate. Nurses who use evidence-based practices exude confidence in their work since they use facts rather than routines to backup their health services. In other words, the evidence-based practice enables nurses to assume full responsibility for their actions.
Application of evidence-based practice helps a healthcare institution to standout in the industry. Besides, it helps an organization to defend its services and avoid cases of litigations. According to LoBiondo-Wood and Haber (2006), evidence-based practice is easy to monitor and evaluate. Thus, it enables nurses to scrutinize their practices and implement necessary changes. Indeed, EBP helps healthcare workers to reduce operation costs and validate the need for extra funding. It helps healthcare worker who operate within tight budgets to meet their targets or persuade the government to offer additional fund. Evidence-based practice reduces cases of misuse of healthcare resources. Nurses ensure that they use the most effective intervention, therefore avoiding cases of finite resources going to waste. Besides, EBP alleviates human suffering and mitigate cases of disability by ensuring that nurses offer quality healthcare.
The Need for Research Methods
Nurses need to understand research methods to implement evidence-based practice. Melnyk and Fineout-Overholt (2011) maintain, “An efficacious intervention is unlikely to work in a new context if the providers or recipients consider its goals and outcomes to be unimportant or its procedures inappropriate” (p. 41). Research methods play a significant role in helping nurses to bridge the gap between research and practice. According to Melnyk and Fineout-Overholt (2011), a majority of the nursing interventions are not available in medical record databases. Most research studies in the nursing field are predominately qualitative and descriptive. Therefore, nurses ought to have skills in research methods to critique the available studies and come up with appropriate EBP instructions. Nurses apply research skills to develop EBP guidelines. Also, they use research methods to standardize facts collected from diverse medical fields and come up with appropriate evidence-based practice. Melnyk and Fineout-Overholt (2011) allege that research methods assist physicians to draw clinical suggestions from scientific studies.
For decades, nurses have tried to use nursing research to enhance health services for both aggregate groups and individuals. According to Stetler et al. (2007), “… emphasis in the 1980s on research utilization has been expanded with the increasing emphasis on evidence-based practice” (p. 46). According to LoBiondo-Wood and Haber (2006), evidence-based practice covers numerous forms of facts like study reviews, research findings, and evidence-based theory. Moreover, it covers the consideration of those facts in determining patient values and penchants and clinical expertise. Previously, nurses did not appreciate the role of research methods in establishing nursing interventions and making critical decisions. Nowadays, nurses with skills in research methods can discern and surmount barriers to application of evidence-based practice. In other words, understanding research methods helps to bridge the gap that exists between acquisition of skills in EBP and its use in the medical field. Nurses use translation science to decode research into practical. Indeed, understanding research methods helps nurses to slot in finest evidence in health services.
LoBiondo-Wood and Haber (2006) maintain that nurses ought to run an assessment of facts, behaviors, and beliefs that are prevalent in the existing system. Moreover, they should champion the need to use evidence in making decisions about medical care. Understanding research methods help to allay fears about the use of evidence-based practice in busy medical facilities. In addition, nurses can utilize research methods to analyze the available clinical practices and come up with substitute approaches to improve nursing practices.
Application of Evidence-Based Practice in Global Health
Nurses use evidence-based practice to assist patients suffering from diverse illnesses. They not only rely on facts from medical science, but also extend their evidence-based practice to social and behavioral science. According to LoBiondo-Wood and Haber (2006), nurses use both pharmacological skills and psychosocial evidence to determine the most appropriate nursing interventions to handle different patients. Today, the type 2 diabetes is growing at an alarming rate. Indeed, most countries treat it as an epidemic that requires concerted effort of all medical personnel. In Australia, nurses use evidence-based practice to help patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. They train patients how to cope with health behaviors that expose them to the risk of type 2 diabetes. The nurses work closely with the patients to identify how the diabetes affects their lives. Besides, they monitor and talk to the patients to understand why they do not follow prescribed diets or go for regular medical checkups. Stetler et al. (2007) allege that in Australia, nurses have established an “expanded healthcare team that can proactively engage medical and community resources when a patient needs them” (p. 47).
Stetler et al. (2007) allege that nurses have enlightened patients on the numerous human problems and social determinants that expose people to type 2 diabetes. Indeed, nurses no longer “medicalize” all patients’ problems. Instead, they establish the cause of the problems and address it. For instance, poor eating habit and financial challenges lead to some patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. Australian nurses focus on social determinants when dealing with patients. Today, most patients are capable of managing diabetes problems, thanks to evidence-based practice.
The evidence-based practice has proved to be an effective nursing intervention in dealing with varied illnesses. Nurses use EBP to evaluate different medical interventions and settle for the most effective. Apart from facilitating decision making, EBP helps nurses to reduce operation costs. Nurses cannot utilize evidence-based practice without skills in research methods. They use research methods to bridge the gap between the acquirement of knowledge in EBP and its application in the nursing field. Moreover, nurses use research methods to formulate procedures for application of EBP in busy medical facilities and allay fears of its effectiveness. Research methods have made it easy for nurses to use translation science to transform research into practice. In Australia, nurses use evidence-based practice to assist patients with type 2 diabetes. They use various psychosocial evidence and pharmacological skills to help patients with type 2 diabetes. Through evidence-based practice, nurses have helped patients to identify and deal with social factors that expose them to diabetes.
Bonell, C. (2001). Evidence-based nursing: A stereotyped view of quantitative and experimental research could work against professional autonomy and authority. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 30(1), 18-23.
LoBiondo-Wood, G., & Haber, J. (2006). Nursing research: methods and critical appraisal for evidence-based practice. St. Louis: Elsevier.
Melnyk, B., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2011). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A guide to best practice. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Stetler, C., Brunell, M., Giuliano, K., Morsi, D., Prince, L., & Newell-Stokes, V. (2007). Evidence-based practice and the role of nursing leadership. Journal of Nursing Administration, 28(8), 45-53.