Examining the Evidence to Guide Practice: Challenging Practice Habits

Nurses are the largest segment of the nation’s health care workforce, which makes nurses vital to the translation of evidence-based practice as a practice norm. Critical care nurses are in a position to critically appraise and apply best evidence in daily practice to improve patients’ outcomes. It is important for critical care nurses to continually evaluate their current practice to ensure that they are applying the current best evidence rather than practicing on the basis of tradition. This article is based on a presentation at the 2013 National Teaching Institute of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Four practice interventions that are within the realm of nursing are critiqued on the basis of current best evidence: (1) turning critically ill patients, (2) sleep promotion in the intensive care unit, (3) feeding tube management in infants and children, and (4) prevention of venothromboembolism…again. The related beliefs, current evidence, and implications for practice associated with each topic are described.