The nursing record as a research tool to identify nursing interventions
- •This paper describes a study which was designed to test the feasibility of using retrospective case note abstraction of data from nursing records to identify the nursing interventions given to two groups of patients: those who had suffered a myocardial infarction and those who had sustained a fractured neck of femur.
- •The aim of the study was to assess whether the data obtained from the records were an accurate reflection of the nursing care given to patients. This was done by comparing what was recorded in the notes for specific areas of care with what the nursing staff said they did.
- •The specific areas of care for patients suffering a myocardial infarction were: pain, mobility, anxiety, patient education. The specific areas of care for patients sustaining a fractured femur were: pressure areas, pain, nutrition, mobility and rehabilitation, information and teaching.
- •Data were collected in three ways:
- –using a retrospective data abstraction tool to examine the case notes of a particular patient;
- –interviewing a nurse who had looked after the same patient;
- –interviewing a senior ward nurse to obtain information about ward policies arid practices to obtain a profile of the care usually given to these groups of patients.
- •In this paper we present some of our findings and discuss the methodological and logistical problems of using this method.