Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Curationis]]> vol. 37 num. 2 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Training nurses to reduce child mortality</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Building children's nursing for Africa</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Children's rights education: An imperative for health professionals</b>]]> The South African government has put in place a range of laws, policies and programmes that are designed to give effect to children's rights and support children's survival, health and optimal development. These rights do not just exist on paper. They have the potential to transform professional practice and improve the quality of care across a range of health care services. A child-rights' approach requires nurses to act in the best interest of children, respect their evolving capacities, think more holistically about a child's well-being and work with others to address the broader social determinants of health - such as access to food, water and sanitation. This article draws on lessons learned from a short course in children's rights and child law for health professionals offered by the Children's Institute, University of Cape Town from 2011-2014. It encourages nurses to reflect critically on their current practice and to take action to improve a child's well-being. It also advocates for the inclusion of children's rights to be at the heart of education and training, professional codes of conduct and standards of care. <![CDATA[<b>Knowledge, attitudes and practices of neonatal staff concerning neonatal pain management</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Neonatal pain management has received increasing attention over the past four decades. Research into the effects of neonatal pain emphasises the professional, ethical and moral obligations of staff to manage pain for positive patient outcomes. However, evaluation studies continuously report evidence of inadequate neonate pain management and a gap between theory and practice. OBJECTIVE: This study reviewed current practice in neonatal pain management to describe the knowledge, attitudes and practices of nurses and doctors regarding pain management for neonates in two academic hospitals. METHOD: A non-experimental, prospective quantitative survey, the modified Infant Pain Questionnaire, was used to collect data from 150 nurses and doctors working in the neonatal wards of two academic hospitals in central Gauteng. RESULTS: The response rate was 35.33% (n = 53), most respondents being professional nurses (88.68%; n = 47) working in neonatal intensive care units (80.77%; n = 42); 24 (45.28%) had less than 5 years' and 29 respondents 6 or more years' working experience in neonatal care. A review of pain management in the study setting indicated a preference for pharmacological interventions to relieve moderate to severe pain. An association (p < 0.05) was found between pain ratings on 5 procedures and frequency of administration of pharmacological pain management. Two-thirds of respondents (64%) reported that there were no pain management guidelines in the neonatal wards in which they worked. CONCLUSION: The interventions to manage moderate neonatal pain are in line with international guidelines. However, neonatal pain management may not occur systematically based on prior assessment of neonatal pain, choice of most appropriate intervention and evaluation. This study recommends implementation of a guideline to standardise practice and ensure consistent and adequate pain management in neonates. <![CDATA[<b>Developing family-friendly signage in a South African paediatric healthcare setting</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Multiple renovations and changing flow in a tertiary children's hospital in Cape Town resulted in numerous signs being posted in the corridors and units, making wayfinding extremely complex. A request from nursing management prompted the formation of a learning collaborative of nurses from all departments to improve wayfinding signage. OBJECTIVES: The project aimed to contribute to a family-friendly environment by reviewing the current situation and developing signage to improve wayfinding and convey essential information to parents, caregivers and patients. METHODS: A participative action research method followed a four-stage process to facilitate the development of family-friendly signage. Nurse participants reviewed existing signage and collaboratively developed new signage templates and posted signs. The signage was then evaluated using a rapid appraisal questionnaire involving 50 parents and nurse respondents. At each stage of data collection, thematic content analysis was used to analyse data gathered in process meetings and the reflections of participating nurses. RESULTS: A design template and then 44 new signs were developed and used to replace old signage. Respondents reported that the new signs were noticeable, looked attractive and were easily understandable. CONCLUSION: Intentional and active participation of nurses in clinical paediatric settings ensured collaborative data gathering and analysis. An inclusive research design allowed for insights into the words and tone of posted signs that nurse participants had not noticed previously. The participative redesign of signage resulted in a sense of ownership of the signs. The support and involvement of hospital management throughout ensured that the resulting signage received wide acceptance. <![CDATA[<b>The neuroscience of birth - and the case for Zero Separation</b>]]> Currently, Western maternal and neonatal care are to a large extent based on routine separation of mother and infant. It is argued that there is no scientific rationale for this practice and a body of new knowledge now exists that makes a case for Zero Separation of mother and newborn. For the infant, the promotion of Zero Separation is based on the need for maternal sensory inputs that regulate the physiology of the newborn. There are harmful effects of dysregulation and subsequent epigenetic changes caused by separation. Skin-to-skin contact is the antithesis to such separation; the mother's body is the biologically 'normal' place of care, supporting better outcomes both for normal healthy babies and for the smallest preterm infants. In the mother, there are needed neural processes that ensure enhanced reproductive fitness, including behavioural changes (e.g. bonding and protection) and improved lactation, which are supported by the practice of Zero Separation. Zero Separation of mother and newborn should thus be maintained at all costs within health services. <![CDATA[<b>Improving the quality of nursing documentation: An action research project</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Documentation is an important function of professional nursing practise. In spite of numerous improvement efforts globally, inadequate documentation continues to be reported as nurse authors investigate barriers and challenges. OBJECTIVES: The project aimed to improve nurses' documentation of their patient assessments at the CURE Children's Hospital of Uganda in order to enhance the quality of nursing practise. METHOD: An action research methodology, using repeated cycles of planning, intervention, reflection and modification, was used to establish best practise approaches in this context for improving nurses' efficacy in documenting assessments in the patient record. The researchers gathered data from chart audits, literature reviews and key informant interviews. Through analysis and critical reflection, these data informed three cycles of systems and practise modifications to improve the quality of documentation. RESULTS: The initial cycle revealed that staff training alone was insufficient to achieve the project goal. To achieve improved documentation, broader changes were necessary, including building a critical mass of competent staff, redesigned orientation and continuing education, documentation form redesign, changes in nurse skill mix, and continuous leadership support. CONCLUSION: Improving nursing documentation involved complex challenges in this setting and demanded multiple approaches. Evidence-based practise was the foundation of changes in systems required to produce visible improvement in practise. The involved role of leadership in these efforts was very important. <![CDATA[<b>Re-envisioning paediatric nurse training in a re-engineered health care system</b>]]> BACKGROUND: South African's infant and child mortality rates remain high and at the current rate of decline will not meet the Millennium Development Goals of a two thirds decrease by 2015. At the latest available count, there were fewer than 1500 qualified paediatric nurses on the National South African Nursing Council register, with only about 100 nurses graduating with this qualification from South African nursing schools annually. It is not clear, however, if current paediatric nurse training programmes adequately equip nurses to make a real impact on reducing the under-5 mortality rate. In their 2011 interim report, the Ministerial Committee on Morbidity and Mortality in Children under 5 years recommended strengthening paediatric nurses' training as a strategy to reduce the under-5 mortality rate. METHOD: In response to the Committee on Morbidity and Mortality in Children recommendation, a colloquium was convened as a national forum for schools of nursing, departments of health, health care facilities, clinicians and regulatory bodies to advance children's nursing in South Africa. OBJECTIVES: The goals of the colloquium were to thoroughly investigate the situation in South Africa's paediatric nurse training, plot ways to strengthen and expand postgraduate paediatric programmes to meet priority child health needs, and to build relationships between the various schools and stakeholders. RESULTS: Outcomes included the clarification and strengthening of a 'stakeholder grid' in nurse training, recognition of the need for more active teaching and learning strategies in curricula linked to national child health priorities, as well as the need to develop and support clinical nursing practice in facilities. <![CDATA[<b>Journal club: Integrating research awareness into postgraduate nurse training</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Evidence-based nursing requires nurses to maintain an awareness of recently published research findings to integrate into their clinical practice. In the South African setting keeping up with recent literature has additional challenges, including the diversity of nurses' home language, geographically foreign origins of published work, and limited economic resources. Students enrolled in a postgraduate programme came from various paediatric settings and displayed limited awareness of nursing literature as an evidence base for practice. OBJECTIVES: The study aimed to design and introduce a journal club as an educational strategy into the postgraduate programmes in children's nursing at the University of Cape Town (UCT), and then to refine the way it is used to best serve programme outcomes and facilitate student learning whilst still being an enjoyable activity. METHOD: An action research methodology using successive cycles of 'assess-plan-act-observe' was used to design, implement and refine the structure of a journal club within the postgraduate diploma programme over four academic years. Six educators actively tracked and reflected on journal club sessions, and then analysed findings during and after each annual cycle to plan improvement and increasing programme alignment. RESULTS: Considerable refinement of the intervention included changing how it was structured, the preparation required by both students and educators, the article selection process and the intervention's alignment with other learning activities in the programme. CONCLUSION: Journal club facilitated an increase in student awareness and reading of nursing literature, offering the opportunity to consider application of published research to current nursing practice. Another benefit was enabling students to become familiar with the specialised and technical language of research, children's nursing and the critical care of children and neonates, by speaking about these in peer settings.