Congratulations! You have enrolled in your college classes for nursing. Isn’t it exciting to see your class schedule and see all those fancy course names?
While you try to make sense of them, a concept keeps popping out: “Evidence-Based Practice.” What’s that? What does the evidence have anything to do with the medical field? Am I going to be on the next episode of CSI, you ask yourself. Well, the answer is a lot more than you think.
As you move forward with your courses, you will see that the concept of EBP is essential to develop decision-making skills that will lead you to deliver high-quality care to your patients. Do you remember all those outdated treatments you’ve heard of and later fount out to be something outrageous? Like, thinking that adult aspirin is excellent for kids or that bathing everything with alcohol is the solution to prevent infections? Once upon a time, they were valid and even enforced medical protocols, but they have been proven wrong through research.
Maybe someday what you are learning will no longer be standard practice, and that is perfectly fine! As you continue your journey to become a nurse and caretaker of patients, you will see that you can always find room for improvement by finding new ways to heal others or improve your workplace dynamics and protocols.
Since many of our clients are immersed in the nursing field when they seek our help with essays (especially evidence-based practice essays), we want to give you a breakdown of what evidence-based practice is and why it’s so important you nail this. Obviously, you will learn a lot more about EBP during your classes. Still, it is always right to begin with at least some idea of what your professors are talking about.
Ready then? So, let’s learn what Evidence-Based Practice is and why it matters so much for nurses!
What's Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing?
Evidence-Based Practice (also known as EBP) is an approach where research findings are applied or translated in a way that helps you improve your patient care or clinical decision making. The idea behind this is to abandon outdated care delivery practices or protocols that don’t allow you to achieve a high-quality professional service.
The sources supporting EBP decisions have to be peer-reviewed, meaning whatever study, article, or journal you decide to present as evidence has to be reviewed by other experts. You will usually find this type of content in your college library since it is curated within these guidelines. However, you can look in other well-regarded databases like EBSCO, CINAHL, and MEDLINE or online medical journals like the American Nurse Today.
In short: Evidence-Based Practice is a group of elements consisting of the best scientific practice, clinical experience, and patient values. Here’s a visual representation of Evidence-Based Practice.
Is Evidence-Based Practice the same as research?
Yes and no. EBP involves research, but it is one small part of the entire process, and they both have different purposes. Research wants to acquire new knowledge or validate existing ones. EBP, on the other hand, takes all that evidence and makes the right decisions that benefit patients and medical institutions. We can then say that EBP takes a step further than research because it puts all that knowledge into action.
What are the steps in the Evidence-Based Practice process?
As you will see in your classes, an EBP initiative will need to accomplish some steps to become a reality. You may have a great idea, like improving the education that patients receive about their anxiety in the ER. That’s awesome and sounds beneficial, but can you prove it? How do you convince your supervisor, hospital board, and other stakeholders that this is a good idea? You need evidence, and that’s why you will need to put together all your thoughts to show that your plan will work.
The following are the steps needed to implement Evidence-Based Practice in the workplace.
- Identify: find that aspect that needs improvement. Make an accurate assessment of the situation. At this stage, you will need to make a PICOT question, meaning a question that alludes to the population, intervention, comparison, outcomes, and time applied to your initiative.
- Research: check for relevant research literature (peer-reviewed and reliable journals, articles, or books).
- Evaluate: are these sources reliable? Do others review them? Always look for high-quality literature that supports your idea.
- Choose interventions: think about the best way to implement your idea and keep tabs on how it develops. Create educational initiatives, improve protocols, negotiate with stakeholders to get more budget. Put your ideas into action!
- Evaluate: check if your initiative was successful. Review data and documents and be sure to include any revisions or changes. Summarize the results.
- Disseminate: others might find your idea and results helpful because they are facing the same issues. You can add to the existing literature in the study subject and promote good practices among your colleagues.
Here you can see a simplified visual representation of the whole process.
Why is Evidence-Based Practice so crucial for nurses?
Nurses are always in the middle of the action, and decisions have to be made every day. However, when it comes to improving the quality of the treatment that your patients receive or the way your colleagues work, that decision is not only up to you. You have to talk with other people involved, stakeholders who have the influence and authority to approve your initiative’s changes. Showing them enough evidence, planning, and compromise with your proposal will make them see that you are taking an effective course of action to deliver the best care possible to others.
Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing: A summary
One of the nursing education’s objectives is to promote enough clinical expertise to ensure that you can be the best care provider possible. EBP might seem like an unnecessary process to follow. However, once you start to work with more individual patients and see more and more clinical problems, you will notice that you can be the one that can begin a much-needed change in the nursing practice. Health care always has to look for the best care and improvement on what is currently being done. You can provide it by proposing a top-notch quality positive change through an EBP proposal.
Do you have more questions related to nursing? We have you covered with the many articles related to everything you need to know when starting your path to become a health professional or any other college endeavor.