Since late last century, nurses have been the most trusted profession in Australia for ethics and honesty. Ninety four per cent of those surveyed placed nurses at the top of the list of thirty occupations. Nurses have every reason to feel pride and satisfaction at such high public approval. Less than a third of people trust ministers of religion and bank managers.
There will hardly be any nurse who has not had a patient suffer a cardiac arrest. We all have experienced that dreadful moment when you find a patient has an undetectable pulse and is unresponsive. Or they have stopped breathing or they are breathing abnormally either apnoea or gasping respirations. Then your training kicks in.
In the last 10 years, how many nursing and midwifery articles would you think has been published?Nursing science is relativity new. And as we know, nursing research leads to better nursing practice. Nurses who undertake research do not exclusively publish their work in nursing and midwifery journals.
A core function of nursing practice is the preparation and management of fasting patients. It is not unusual that patients may have prolonged or repeated periods of fasting for surgery, tests, procedures or for the symptom management of their admitting condition. Fasting for prolonged periods is detrimental to health outcomes. But there is more than the physical impact of fasting to consider.
“Every careful observer of the sick will agree in this that thousands of patients are annually starved in the midst of plenty, from want of attention to the ways which alone make it possible for them to take food.” wrote Florence Nightingale in 1859. The same can be said in 2018. Malnutrition is overlooked, undiagnosed and untreated. It is the “skeleton in the hospital closet”.