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The use of advanced physical assessment skills by cardiac nurses

Edmunds, Lynette Patricia, Ward, Susan and Barnes, Rhian Catherine 2010. The use of advanced physical assessment skills by cardiac nurses. British Journal of Nursing -London- Mark Allen Publishing Limited- 19 (5) , pp. 282-287.

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AIMS: To establish what advanced physical assessment skills are being used by cardiac nurses after they undertook a clinical patient assessment module; and to explore the factors that influence their use of these skills. METHOD: A longitudinal descriptive approach using convenience sampling was employed. Qualitative data was obtained from individual interviews, non-participant observation within the participants' clinical environment and self-reported activity logs. FINDINGS: Five key themes emerged: use of advanced physical assessment skills varied; use and development of skills was linked to personal characteristics; use influenced by perceptions of role boundaries, permission and cooperation; use influenced by participants' perception of nursing and the development of their own nursing practice; and use influenced by the physical environment and the human support within it. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Cardiac nurses selectively use physical assessment skills, predominately related to the cardiorespiratory systems. Organisational structure, professional relationships and the professionalism of the individual nurse appear to play a significant part in the use of physical assessment skills. Although the findings from this qualitative study cannot be generalized, they concur with findings from recent research into physical assessment skills used by a variety of UK nurses. The implications identified are: first, for those who provide the education, in terms of what should be taught and facilitated; and second, for organizations, in ensuring staff have assessment skills relevant to their role and that systems are in place to enable the development of a supportive and progressive culture that embraces modernization congruent with healthcare policy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Publisher: Mark Allen Healthcare
ISSN: 0966-0461
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Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 14:00

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