A barrier that causes concerns and prevents the application of evidence-based practice within a school setting is the lack of cooperation, noncompliance, and communication. This is a truth that corresponds when working with school professionals, parents, and children. When individuals have poor interest in applying practice that is relevant in the child’s health needs, it domino’s their school work, poor grades, high absences, frequent hospital or doctor visits. As well as financial burdens on working parents who have to take time out from work to care for their ill ones. School nurses are a vital part of a school team, they help identify and reduce health, safety, and social risk factors that affect school attendance. Research shows that almost 93% of absences are related to health issues (NASN, 2018). The health problems seen in the school setting are asthma, allergies, diabetes, obesity, seizure disorders, anxiety, and attention deficit disorder that are responsible for child chronic absenteeism. This is why it is important to eliminate barriers that interrupt the application of evidence-based practice. Creating a cohesive environment for the student both in school and at home, can help the child maintain wellness, and improve attendance, therefore their learning. A student with diabetes must be educated on the diagnosis, the causes for both low and high blood sugars, teach the signs and symptoms and the consequences of not having their insulin administered. Teaching also applies to those in direct care of the child, whether it is a para, social workers, teachers, and parents.
National Association of School Nurses. (2018, June). School nurses: An integral member of the school team addressing chronic absenteeism (Position Statement). https://www.nasn.org/advocacy/professional-practice-documents/position-statements/ps-absenteeism
Resistance to change has been an issue and a barrier in attempting to introduce evidence-based nursing practices. Unfortunately, there have been instances when employees were alerted to evidence-based practices which would ensure the patient’s health was not at risk, only to have a supervisor ignore the need. From past experiences, allowing staff to continue performing unsafe procedures was easier for the supervisor than addressing the situation. Therefore, having nurses fully engaged and willing to implement an evidence-based practice (EBP) is ineffective without a culture that supports it (Stillwell, Fineout-Overholt, Melnyk & Williamson, 2010).
One of the first steps in addressing any issue begins with communication at the administrative level. This step is critical to avoid putting patient’s care at risk. All communication should be documented with examples of the evidence-based practice and changes needed for successful implementation. It is also important to remain diligent with follow-up meetings to ensure the issue is being addressed with steps outlined for resolution.
Stillwell, S.B., Fineout-Overholt, E., Melnyk, B.M., Williamson, M. (2010). Evidence-Based Practice, Step by Step: Asking the Clinical Question. AJN The American Journal of Nursing: March 2010 – Volume 110 – Issue 3 – p 58-61. doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000368959.11129.79
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