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Journal of Community Nursing (JCN) | December 2021

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Making Every Patient Contact Count

Making Every Patient Contact Count

Pages: 4 - 5

Article topics: improve patient care, Individualising patient care

Working within the community, we are ideally positioned to offer our patients, and everyone we meet, personalised advice in relation to their health and self-management. We can observe them in their home environment and really understand how our patients live on a day-to-day basis. This supports us to empower them to adopt health promotion strategies and make small lifestyles changes. We can empathise with the difficulties they may encounter and support them to adapt their regular routines to really make a difference. This issue’s ‘Community matters’ piece explores making every contact count (MECC) in more detail (pp. 8–12).

We are all aware of how recent lockdowns have led to an increase in reports of domestic violence. As nurses who visit patients in their own homes, we are in a unique position to make that contact count by asking questions to help victims disclose their situation. Do read how Leeds Community Healthcare (LCH) has equipped its staff not only to address issues of domestic abuse and violence with patients, but also to support employees who themselves are in an abusive relationship (pp. 69–71).

Identifying patients who may be malnourished is again something we all need to be on the look out for during routine clinical care, especially as the majority of those affected by malnutrition are living in the community. In this issue, Anne Holdoway and Hilary Franklin (pp. 30–37) take a detailed look at the development of the ‘Managing Malnutrition in the Community’ resources, which can help you to provide the best nutritional care for your patients. We also discuss dysphagia (pp. 38–42), a very real risk factor for malnutrition, with guidance on how to assess and identify those with a swallowing issue so that you can feel confident to help patients have a safe swallow.

As Christmas approaches, and we head towards 2022, we need to congratulate ourselves on all our hard work and achievements during another difficult year. For whatever reasons, this year has seemed more testing than the previous one, so we should be extremely proud of the difference we have made to our patients and the support we have given colleagues. I hope everyone takes some time to reflect and refresh and prepare for the challenges ahead, and please remember, there is a great deal of support available if you need it.

And finally, here at JCN, we would like to wish all our readers a very happy and relaxing Christmas and New Year.

Annette Bades, editor-in-chief, JCN

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