Our current featured article is titled “The Contribution of Documentation Systems to How Nurses Understand Older People’s Cognitive Function in
Hospital” authored by Elaine Moody, PhD, RN; Alison Phinney, PhD, RN;
Geertje Boschma, PhD, RN; and Jennifer Baumbusch, PhD, RN. Please download this article at no cost while it is featured; we welcome your comments! Here is a message that Dr. Moody provided for ANS readers about this work:
This paper reports on some of the findings from my doctoral dissertation that explored how nurses working in acute care settings came to understand the cognitive function of older patients. We noted that while nursing literature has reported that nurses miss cases of cognitive impairment and fail to identify conditions such delirium, there was very little written about how nurses build their understandings. We approached this topic from a perspective that recognized the important of the healthcare environment on nurses work and were attuned to social relations in the research process. In the course of the research, we found that the documents that nurses used to communicate, report and archive aspects of their work were shaping how they understood the cognitive function of older patients. This is an element of healthcare settings that can potentially be improved to better reflect the current best evidence about how to support people who have, or are risk of having cognitive, impairment. As the COVID-19 pandemic is drawing more and more attention to the situation of older people in our communities, and the ways that healthcare settings are structured to provide their care, it is an opportune time to consider ways to reorient these settings to the needs of an older population.
We are delighted to feature the open access article titled “Embedding a Palliative Approach in Nursing Care Delivery: An Integrated Knowledge Synthesis” authored by Richard Sawatzky, PhD; Pat Porterfield, MSN; Della Roberts, MSN; Joyce Lee, PhD; Leah Liang, MSN; Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham, PhD; Barb Pesut, PhD; Tilly Schalkwyk, MSN; Kelli Stajduhar, PhD; Carolyn Tayler, MSA; Jennifer Baumbusch, PhD; and Sally Thorne, PhD. This article not only addresses the significant challenges of palliative care, but also serves as an example of the translation of knowledge into practice. We welcome you to download and read the article at any time – it is permanently available at no cost to readers. Then return here and share your comments and ideas! This is a message from Dr. Sawatzky about the work of this team of authors:
“A palliative approach is not a service” (quote from Carolyn Tayler)
Although we realize that end of life care may require care from professionals who have been formally trained in palliative care, mostpeople who have life limiting illnesses receive care in settings where access to palliative care professionals is limited. To address this, our team has been studying how the notion of “a palliative approach” can help to embed general principles and practices of palliative care broadly into the healthcare system. The Initiative for a Palliative Approach in Nursing: Evidence and Leadership (www.iPANEL.ca, led by Kelli Stajduhar and Carolyn Tayler) engages nurse researchers, practitioners, and administrators in British Columbia, Canada, who share a common goal to integrate a palliative approach throughout the healthcare system. Building on our prior publication on “Conceptual Foundations of a Palliative Approach” (Sawatzky, Porterfield et al. 2016), the current article is one of the iPANEL studies that specifically seeks to synthesize across insights derived from different sources of knowledge relevant to a palliative approach as the basis for supporting nursing care teams to embed a palliative approach into their practice. In doing so, we have broadened the scope of what is
typically considered “knowledge synthesis”, by translating general knowledge from previous studies into particular contexts of nursing practice. This knowledge synthesis process reflects the fundamental form of nursing knowledge application we articulated in a prior publication in ANS on “Particularizing the General” (Thorne and Sawatzky, 2014). We hope that, in addition to contributing to an understanding of a palliative approach, the article will spark further discourse about effective methodologies for particularizing general knowledge within local contexts of everyday nursing practice.