Nursing Online – June 2010

Research Hub.
The Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing continues to provide an excellent vehicle for nurses to publish original research and scholarly papers about all areas of nursing.

Development of a clinician-led research agenda for general practice nurses
Elizabeth J. Halcomb, University of Western Sydney; Louise Hickman, University of Notre Dame

This study sought to identify and prioritise research issues as perceived by Australian general practice nurses. In this context, a research priority refers to the most pressing research problems that necessitate exploration to improve clinical practice.

The researchers conclude that issues identified in this study reflect current patterns of practice nurse workload. Emphasis needs to be placed on the translation and use of evidence by practice nurses, as well as the ways in which evidence can support and promote development of their role. The study findings highlight the need for research that is responsive to clinical demands.

The relevance of psychosocial indicators in community palliative care: A pilot study
Associate Professor Mary Oliver, University of South Australia

The objective is to discuss a framework in psychosocial care in community palliative care and the outcomes of a pilot study. This study adds to the existing body of knowledge in palliative care especially in psychosocial aspects of community care.

The pilot study shows that by incorporating psychosocial care in community, palliative care improves decision-making in the terminally ill. The implication for practice is that psychosocial aspects of palliative care can indicate patients’ care needs, leading to better satisfaction.

Expert to novice: Experiences of professional adaptation reported by non-English speaking nurses in Australia
Dr Joan Deegan, LaTrobe University; Dr Keith Simkin, LaTrobe University

Adaptation to a new area of clinical practice creates a significant challenge for any nurse, but this is particularly so for migrant nurses of non-English speaking background (NESB). The aim of the study was to understand the perceptions of overseas-qualified nurses from non-English speaking backgrounds of their educational experiences in a competency-based assessment program (CBAP) in Melbourne with a particular focus on the clinical component.

Strengths of the program revolved around the opportunity for NESB nurses to undertake a formal assessment process in order to achieve registration in Victoria. Limitations related to lack of support in the clinical environment. It was revealed that although the adaptation process was complicated for individuals by cultural, linguistic and professional issues, the main challenge seemed to relate more to the clinical workforce culture that operated at some hospitals. Nurses reported feelings of disempowerment caused by discriminatory practices, professional isolation and unrealistic expectations by local nurses.

Reasons for and barriers to influenza vaccination among health-care workers in an Australian Emergency Department
Abdi D. Osman, Austin Hospital Emergency Department, Melbourne

The purpose of this study is to examine attitudes and beliefs about the influenza vaccination among health-care workers in an Australian Emergency Department and to assess the vaccine uptake for the 2007 influenza season and intentions for the 2008 season.

Only 56.4% of nurses and 58.7% of all staff including nurses were vaccinated in 2007.

Despite campaigns by the infectious disease unit and an outbreak of influenza A in Australia with confirmed cases by laboratory tests being in the department, misconceptions about the vaccine were common and only 56.4% of nurses and 58.7% of all staff including nurses were vaccinated in 2007 with an expected uptake of 71.4% in 2008. Some employees’ attitude towards the vaccine remained unchanged; therefore combined strategies in campaigns may be needed to increase the vaccine uptake.