This article examines the various elements that community nurses need to consider when attempting to provide best practice in urinary catheterisation. The author seeks to challenge what is considered best practice — particularly the requirement for all practice to be evidence based — while encouraging community nurses to think proactively about the care they are providing. The article stresses that the first principle of urinary catheterisation is to avoid the procedure where at all possible — catheterisation is potentially dangerous and can even be life-threatening if performed inappropriately. Overall, the author poses some key questions, including: should there be a difference in the care provided by community and hospital nurses; do community patients have the same needs as those in hospital; and can the manufacturers of drugs/products help to make avoiding urinary tract infections (UTIs) easier?
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Through events and consultations held by the Queen’s Nursing Institute’s (QNI) homeless health network, community nurses are identifying emerging issues affecting their patients and their workforce.
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