nursing discussion board

After reading a research article about the way nurses suction clients, you decide to perform a literature search on the topic to see whether other studies reinforce the practice. You identify two other research studies that also support the practice change. Armed with the evidence, you create a new practice guideline that describes the new suctioning techniques and present it to your unit director. After taking the guideline through various committees, it is adopted and a new policy is created. You feel empowered and confident that this new practice will have a positive impact on client care outcomes. During the next few weeks, you are confused and discouraged, noting that the nurses are slow in adopting your fabulous new guideline.

1. Why might you get resistance from the nurses?

2. Should this resistance have been anticipated?

3. What specific steps could be taken to encourage the nurses to adopt the practice change?


Why might you get resistance from the nurses?

Nurses may give resistance because it is not the way that they were educated in nursing school and it is not what the way that they have been practicing. Unfortunately, as much as nursing is scientific based, much of what we do is also routine. If the nurse’s current practice allows them to perform their duties without causing harm to the patient and follows similar principles, the nurse my question the need to change the guidelines. Also, many would not embrace the change because it may hinder the nurse’s ability to manage their time adequately amongst each of the patients that they are assigned. Regardless, the nurse will try to implement the change, even though it may not occur instantaneously.  

2.     2. Should this resistance have been anticipated?

This resistance should have been anticipated because it is not what the nurses have been practicing. They currently practice what works best for them and what allows them to manage their time best so that they may treat all of their patients. I would not say it is a resistance, as much as it is a reluctance to change their methods. This is because this has become a routine to the nurse. Their current practice is what they have become accustomed to. Also, they will be reluctant to change their ways, especially if they never hurt anyone or violated any protocols with their current method.  With that said, it is unreasonable to expect an instantaneous shift in their practice. What one should expect is a slow progression in embracing the change once the nurses have had adequate practice in performing suctioning according to the new guidelines. Lastly, we must keep in mind that the more time a nurse spends practicing a skill, the more comfortable, knowledgeable and proficient they become with completing their tasks and managing their time.

3.     3. What specific steps could be taken to encourage the nurses to adopt the practice change?

In order to encourage the nurses to adopt the practice change, I believe the first step is to educate the nurses on the importance of changing the practice. To accomplish this, I believe that the best thing to do is hold an education seminar to inform the nurse’s about the guideline change providing evidence as to why this change in practice is beneficial. After this seminar, the nurses should be validated on the skill according to the guidelines. Once the validation is complete, it is reasonable to allow the nurse’s some time in adapting to the changes in the practice. I believe that three weeks is adequate enough. After three weeks, the nurse should be observed when performing the new suctioning technique on the patient. If the nurse is unable to follow the guidelines, they are given a warning and be given another education course and skill validation. They will also be given a week to improve their practice. Should they be unable to improve, then they will be written up. After this, it goes according to policy on how management handles write ups and reprimands.


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