Dinah Gould

Nursing Standard

An overview of molluscum contagiosum: a viral skin condition

Molluscum contagiosum is a virus that causes characteristic pearly lesions on the surface of the skin. Small clusters of mollusca are a nuisance rather than a serious health problem. However, the mollusca can be more widespread and disfiguring in people with impaired cell-mediated immunity. Molluscum contagiosum virus is common in children. In adults it can also be contracted during sexual activity and might indicate a need for diagnostic testing for other, more serious sexually transmitted infections in young, sexually active adults.

Nursing Standard

Audit and research: similarities and differences

Audit is an important aspect of quality assurance in health care, but misconceptions concerning its purpose, use and the limitations of its findings compared to research still exist. This article identifies the key features of audit and research, and discusses the defining features of both activities and their relationship.

Nursing Standard

Hand hygiene technique

Hand hygiene is an essential component of effective infection prevention programmes. Good technique, ensuring that all surfaces of the hands receive contact with the decontaminating agent, has been accepted for many years and is acknowledged in current guidelines. However, hand hygiene technique is seldom incorporated into research studies and audits designed to increase compliance. As a result, numerous unanswered questions remain concerning this aspect of hand hygiene.

Nursing Standard

Enterococcal infection

This article describes enterococci bacteria and the measures related to glycopeptide-resistant enterococci, including screening, treatment and management, antibiotic prescribing and infection control.

Nursing Standard

Menorrhagia: causes, diagnosis and treatment options

This article examines the causes of menorrhagia and outlines approaches to diagnosis and treatment. It includes a description of the normal menstrual cycle and the clotting cascade. The research findings suggest that inherited bleeding disorders account for many cases of menorrhagia.

Nursing Standard

Systematic observation of hand decontamination

Meticulous infection control precautions are required to prevent healthcare-associated infection, with particular attention to hand hygiene and universal precautions. A detailed observation study undertaken in the early 1990s still has clear messages for infection control today. To prevent the spread of infection in clinical settings, nurses need adequate time and resources to comply with infection control protocols. Pressure of work and staff shortages still mitigate against safe practice today despite greater awareness of the importance of infection control.

Nursing Standard

Bacterial infections: antibiotics and decontamination

Infectious disease is caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and micro-organisms including the mycoplasmas, rickettsiae and chlamydiae. Most of the infections commonly encountered in the UK are caused either by bacteria or viruses. This article describes bacterial structure and function to explain how antibiotics work and the processes of decontamination such as cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation, which are important in infection control.

Nursing Standard

Healthcare assistants: the new registration route

A number of locally organised schemes now exist to help healthcare assistants access programmes leading to qualified nursing status. Although some schemes have been operating for some time, little has been done to evaluate their effectiveness. However, drawing on the literature that has addressed indicators of successful completion among entrants taking a more conventional route into nursing, it is possible to predict which individuals are most likely to complete courses and course-related factors that encourage successful completion.

Nursing Standard

Training needs analysis: an evaluation framework

Training needs analysis (TNA) is the first step in the training and educational strategy of an organisation and is crucial to meeting the continuing professional development needs of the healthcare workforce and service. TNA must be carefully planned, conducted and have clear outcomes to ensure that training interventions are implemented effectively and that they lead to meaningful changes in service delivery. However, there is a dearth of literature on approaches to critique TNA. This article describes a framework developed specifically to evaluate the effectiveness of TNA. The framework combines approaches that have been used to evaluate conventional research studies and audit.

Nursing Standard

Occupational irritant contact dermatitis

This article raises awareness of the risks of irritant contact dermatitis among different occupational groups, especially healthcare professionals, and suggests strategies to aid prevention.

Nursing Standard

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a common condition that causes pain and distress to many women. A variety of medical and surgical treatment options exist, and the nursing role is mainly one of information-giving and support

Nursing Standard

Preparing nurse managers to mentor students

Aim To explore clinical nurse managers’ perceptions of factors influencing their ability to perform their clinical leadership role. Method A random sample of 15 clinical nurse managers in four acute NHS trusts was interviewed in depth to identify and explore factors that they perceived to be helping or hindering their performance. The qualitative data were analysed to identify recurrent themes, which were used to develop a survey questionnaire that was distributed to the remaining clinical nurse managers in the four trusts (n=152). Results The response rate was 65 per cent (n=99). Many of the clinical nurse managers reported poor preparation to undertake key aspects of their role and did not favour open learning as a method of continuing professional development. Conclusion The findings are of interest in the context of the new framework proposed by the English National Board (ENB) and the Department of Health for the preparation of nurse educators. Many of the findings are identical to the advisory standards set out for mentors in Preparation of Mentors and Teachers: A New Framework of Guidance ( ENB and DoH 2001a ). Attention to the development of clinical nurse managers, as well as new mentors, should continue to ensure that the proposed changes meet the needs of both groups.

Primary Health Care

Childhood eczema

Aims and learning outcomes The aim of this article is to: ■ Explain the physical and psychosocial problems associated with childhood eczema from the perspective of the child and the family ■ Describe the changes that occur with atopic eczema ■ Describe possible triggers and how topical therapy should be adapted when the skin has flared ■ Outline nursing care needed by the family to manage a child’s condition ■ Outline the support provided by the National Eczema Society

Nursing Standard

Clean surgical wounds: prevention of infection

Nurses need to be aware of the principles of infection control and the factors affecting wound infection to develop effective strategies to prevent infection and cross-infection.

Primary Health Care

Pressure ulcer risk assessment

A considerable amount of research has been undertaken to determine the variables that trigger tissue impairment. The author discusses the contributory risk factors in assessing and treating pressure ulcers, and the potential to improve current practice.

Nursing Standard

Clinical nurse managers’ perceptions of factors affecting role performance

Aim This study explored clinical nurse managers’ perceptions of the factors affecting role performance. Method Interviews were carried out with 15 clinical nurse managers in four trusts. Results Results highlight the main influences on the role, the barriers to successful role fulfilment, and the stressors that cause some of the postholders to consider leaving the NHS. Conclusion The findings of this exploratory study established the diversity of the clinical nurse manager role and showed that they continue to play a central role in healthcare delivery.

Nursing Standard

Hand decontamination

Hand decontamination is an important intervention in controlling hospital-acquired infections. Dinah Gould examines the issues relating to this, including different decontaminants, the evidence base, the need for improvements in practice, and effective practice.

Nursing Standard

Contraception: the changing needs of women throughout the reproductive years

The contraceptive needs of women often change as they get older. Dinah Gould discusses the reasons behind this and reviews the different methods of contraception currently available.

Pages