Nursing is one of the most dynamic professions because of its wide scope. Excellence is attained by implementing and adhering to best practices that originate from evidence-based practice. In the past, nursing practice was not based on evidence but on theoretical knowledge that lacked any basis in research and practice. In contemporary nursing, sustained research analysis, evidence collection, and implementation of new information are important. These practices are learned by acquiring knowledge and skills through study and practice. They are highly useful in professional nursing practice.
Nurses are obligated to apply effective strategies to reduce medication errors that are common in nursing. Examples of such strategies include proper drug labeling, error identification and correction, intensive public education, and proper storage of drugs (Strategies to Reduce Medication Errors, 2013). Patients should be aware of the drugs they take, how to take them, and the potential side effects. In addition, they should ask their physicians about their prescriptions and the precautions to be taken when handling and taking them. On the other hand, nurses should provide clear instructions on the proper dosage and administration of drugs.
The application of evidence-based practice ensures that nurses incorporate current research findings into their practice to improve patient care. Nurses should always participate in learning programs and research activities to improve their competencies and knowledge. This practice ensures that nurses are informed and apply up-to-date information in treating patients, preventing diseases, diagnosing diseases, administering medication, and improving public health (Stevens, (2013). The health care sector changes continually and requires constant learning and research. Nurses must embrace lifelong learning as a way of improving their practice and providing quality patient care in different contexts.
Nurses need to practice proper documentation of patient records and data. This is accomplished by being accurate, charting objective information, recording information immediately aftercare is given, writing legibly, and using a language that everyone understands (Lanette, 2013). Patient records are important in processes such as diagnosis, medication, follow-up protocols, and financial reimbursement. Health records are legal documents that should be prepared accurately to avoid clashes with the law. Proper documentation helps nurses to avoid diagnosis and medication errors. In addition, it promotes the provision of quality and safe patient care.
Nurses are obligated to provide care that prioritizes the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of patients. In that regard, they need to identify, respect, promote, protect, and care about the needs, values, principles, and preferences of patients by communicating effectively, relieving their pain, observing confidentiality, promoting healthy lifestyles, and providing patients the opportunity to participate in developing treatment plans and programs. For example, patients should be free to decide the type of surgical procedures they are willing to undergo or forfeit (Daniels & Nicoll, 2012). In addition, nurses need to align their decisions and activities with the need to improve population health in communities. Providing patient-centered care improves the lifestyles and health of patients, promotes nursing ethics, and improves public health in different dimensions.
The aforementioned best practices are critical in nursing. They are based on evidence-based practice and thorough research into various aspects of nursing and health care. The main goal of implementing them is to provide patient care of the highest quality continually. They help nurses to practice safely by taking into account their welfare and that of their patients.
Daniels, R., & Nicoll, L. (2012) Contemporary Medical Surgical Nursing (2nd Ed). Boston, MA: Delmar Cengage Learning.
Anderson, L. (2013). The Impact of Documentation in Nursing on Quality Care. Web.
Stevens, K. R. (2013). The impact of Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing and the Next Big Ideas. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing 18(2), 45-57.
Strategies to Reduce Medication Errors: Working to Improve Medication Safety. (2013). Web.