Tradition to Evidence Based Practice
You are the nurse caring for Mr. Smith who has a diagnosis of neutropenia. The family brings him an arrangement of live plants. A sign on Mr. Smith's door lists precautions; one states no live plants. The family asks why and you explain that the soil has bacteria and due to Mr. Smith's low white cell count, he is susceptible to infection. The family wonders how the bacteria in the soil can cause an infection. You tell the family that this practice is a precaution to protect the patient. The family is satisfied with your answer. However, their question of "how" has left you questioning the rationale for no plants in the room.
Nursing knowledge is acquired through several means; tradition, authority, borrowing, trial and error, personal experience, role-modeling and mentorship, intuition, reasoning, and research. (Burns and Grove, 2002). Many nurses base their practice according to ritual and tradition without questioning the validity of what they do. …
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