Top 10: the most popular clinical articles of 2020

This year has been like no other in healthcare, both in the UK and worldwide. But how has the pandemic influenced RCNi's top ten clinical articles for 2020?

Clearly the emotional toll for nurses and healthcare colleagues has influenced the high rating for an article exploring resilience in the workforce. Four of our top ten articles examine the need for effective leadership and communication, two themes at the core of effective care of patients and loved ones, particularly at a time of crisis.

Hand hygiene is an essential part of nursing care, famously advocated by Florence Nightingale herself, yet colleagues clearly want to ensure they undertake this skill effectively while considering inherent barriers. The appearance of three articles exploring intravenous fluids and also hypovolaemia, continues to illustrate the perennial theme of caring for the deteriorating patient. 

The most popular clinical article of 2020 is from Mental Health Practice. This is significant as it illustrates the importance of mental healthcare across the nursing profession and how colleagues openly access material that helps enhance this aspect of care.

Borderline personality disorder and autism spectrum disorder
Picture: iStock

1. Differentiating between borderline personality disorder and autism spectrum disorder

This article reviews the available literature on the similarities and differences between borderline personality disorder (BPD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and aims to raise awareness of the complexity of co-morbid presentations

Read the Mental Health Practice article

Nursing workforce
Picture: iStock

2. What the COVID-19 pandemic tells us about the need to develop resilience in the nursing workforce 

This article looks at previous pandemics and disasters that have affected healthcare systems, as well as the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, and considers how nurse leaders can support staff and show organisational resilience during such emergencies.

Read the Nursing Management article

Intravenous fluid therapy
Picture: iStock

3. Understanding the principles and aims of intravenous fluid therapy 

This article provides an overview of the principles and aims of intravenous (IV) fluid therapy. It also explains the physiology of body fluid and mechanisms of fluid balance regulation, outlines the principles of patient assessment and indications for IV fluid therapy, and details its potential risks and complications.

Read the Nursing Standard article

Hand hygiene
Picture: Alamy

4. Using effective hand hygiene practice to prevent and control infection 

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that effectively applied hand hygiene is a vital intervention that can be used to prevent the spread of disease. This article details the correct procedure required and emphasises the need for nurses to keep up to date with evidence-based guidelines.

Read the Nursing Standard article

Nurse managers
Picture: John Houlihan

5. Effect of nurse managers’ leadership styles on predicted nurse turnover 

Predicting nurse turnover is important to prevent expensive and avoidable staff loss. One factor that may influence nurse turnover is nurse managers’ leadership styles. This article assesses the effect of nurse managers’ leadership styles on predicted nurse turnover in hospitals.

Read the Nursing Management article

Intravenous infusion calculations
Picture: iStock

6. How to undertake intravenous infusion calculations 

This article provides a step-wise, practical approach to undertaking intravenous infusion calculations. It also explores the evidence base behind medication errors in relation to calculations.

Read the Nursing Standard article

Picture: iStock

7. Understanding and applying personality types in healthcare communication 

Understanding personality types can assist nurses in enhancing their understanding of themselves and their colleagues, which in turn can support effective communication. This article outlines the principles of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) – a personality inventory that aims to improve the understanding of psychological types.

Read the Nursing Standard article

Picture: iStock

8. Pathophysiology and treatment of hypovolaemia and hypovolaemic shock 

Hypovolaemia involves a fall in circulatory volume resulting from a loss of blood, plasma and/or plasma fluid, which is caused by internal or external haemorrhage. This article uses a case study to demonstrate an appropriate assessment and treatment pathway.

Read the Nursing Standard article

Communication with patients
Picture: iStock

9. Optimising professional communication with patients 

This article considers how nurses can communicate effectively with patients to optimise care. It explores the theoretical principles of interpersonal and professional communication, and discusses practical methods of listening and speaking to patients that nurses can apply in their clinical practice.

Read the Nursing Standard article

Nurse leadership
Picture: iStock

10.  Effective nurse leadership in times of crisis 

This article suggests essential leadership skills and characteristics that nurses can use to underpin effective leadership in a crisis, emphasising the importance of decision-making and emotional intelligence

Read the Nursing Management article

In other news