Evidence based practice /care (EBP) suggests applying the accumulated/acquired practical knowledge for current and future clinical practice. Knowledge may come from within or external sources. Nurses are expected to update their knowledge by cultivating evidence based practice. This is not unique to nursing or for that matter health care profession alone. The need for evidence based practice is all pervasive in all professions. Professionals generally tend to stick to what they learnt in their professional courses and traditional practices. They tend to resist introduction of new practices to replace age-old and time-tested ones. The resistance to change is one of the barriers to implementation of evidence based practice in the nursing profession.
With this background, this paper seeks to examine the potential barriers to EBP including the resistance to change. The aim and objective of this essay is therefore, to identify the barriers in implementing evidence based care/practice among nurses.
In this connection, it is emphasized that the concept of evidence based care/practice is just the old wine in a new bottle, for any theory is generally grounded based on previous practice. Hence, what nurses learn in their class rooms are the grounded theories based on clinical practices on trial and error basis refined over the years. There must have been resistances or barriers to establish the grounded theories for nursing professional to follow even earlier and new knowledge might have taken longer time than is necessary to get established. If modern day professionals resist to changes or fail to overcome barriers, there will be dearth of new theories for the growth of professional knowledge. This does not augur well for the well being of mankind.
The barriers to EBP are many and have been a nagging problem to the nursing profession basically because of the ever growing body of knowledge. In this project it is proposed to examine two issues. (1) Resistance to change. 2) Other barriers. Resistance to change is a human tendency for tackling which “change management” has developed in the recent years as a separate branch of management practice. Concerns towards resistance to change stem from the need to provide the “highest quality, safest care possible to the greatest number of people in the most effective manner” (Travalgia, et al., 2011, p. 3). Nursing being mainly concerned with patient safety, research in this area draws heavily from the other professions like mining, aviation and rail. As a result, health management now embodies quality movements ranging from “Total Quality Management and Continuous Quality Improvement to Six Sigma and Lean Thinking” (Travalgia, et al., 2011, p. 3) and include managing the change i.e implementing change aimed at improvement in clinical practice (Travalgia, et al., 2011). Resistance to change stems from the feeling of uncertainty related to job security, concerns with increased workload, and the unfounded fears on the impact on patience care (Burke, 2011). (2) Other barriers: Other barriers to EBP include time factors, inaccessibility of the literature, lack of competency to critically evaluate empirical research, lukewarm interest in scientific enquiry among the nursing professionals and work environment that is not friendly towards EBP etc. (Hockenberry, Wilson, & Barbara, 2006).
Burke, L. (2011). How to make successful chnage management easier. Web.
Hockenberry, M., Wilson, D., & Barbara, P. (2006). Implementing Evidence-Based Nursing Practice in a Pediatric Hospital: Barriers to EBP. Pediatric Nursing , 32 (4), 371-377. Web.
Travalgia, J., Debono, D., Thoms, D., Hillman, K., Middleton, S., Hughes, C., et al. (2011). Change Management Strategies and Practice Development in Nursing : A Review of the Literature. Centre for Clinical Governance Research. The University of New South Wales. Web.