WEEK 3 DISCUSSION
Nursingand Standardized Language
Innursing profession, language is often used to inform and tofacilitate quality care as well as educate recipients of that care.It should be understood that revelation of the impact of nursing careon patient outcomes heavily rely on the universal understanding ofnursing terminologies. In this light, it is very critical that whatis transmitted is commonly interpreted by all nurses. For instance,the language used in a psychiatric facility may vary from the otherhealth facilities and this poses a threat to administering nursingservices efficiently thus the importance of a standardized language(Georgakopoulou & Silk, 2009).
Advantagesof Standardized Language
Onemajor benefit of standardized language is that it increases thevisibility of nursing interventions and this result to improvedpatient care. Nurses are fond of using informal notes to verballyreport to each other rather than use care plans and patient recordstherefore, making their work invisible (Kinsman, 2004). The use ofstandardized language effectively counters this invisibility byshedding light.
Furthermore,using standardized language in the nursing practice ensures dataquality especially where electronic patient records are being used(Rutherford, 2008). Take, for example, an instance where a diagnosisgets wrongly coded because a nurse misunderstood the language or codeused. With a standardized language such errors will be avoidable.
Challengesof Standardized Language
Manyclinical areas use a number of paper and electronic forms where thesame form is duplicated, but lacks consistency of structure. A lot ofextra work is created and this slows down the flow of informationconsiderably (Johnstone, 2004). For instance, a patient’s weightmay be needed for a number of forms such as pressure, ulcer risk andmaybe nutritional assessment and if some are filled in stones andpounds and others in kilograms information flow is bound to beslowed. Besides, the adoption of standardized language may requiretime before new nurses catch up.
Inpsychiatry, it is quite difficult to come up with standard measuresbecause nurses’ reports are characterized with giving behavioralreports. Terms such as aggressive and delusional are common but maymean a variety of things depending on the observer. What is mildaggression to one nurse may be considered differently by anothernurse and hence it is important for nursing language to bestandardized. It is critical that standardization cuts through thenursing practice without regard to a specific area this would aidnurses in understanding what is expected in a certain area, a movethat would increase efficiencies.
Georgakopoulou,A., & Silk, M. S. (2009). Standardlanguages and language standards: Greek, past and present.Farnham, England: Ashgate.
Johnstone,M.J. 2004. Bioethics:a nursing perspective (4th ed).Sydney: Churchill Livingstone.
Kinsman,L. 2004. Clinicalpathway compliance and quality improvement.Nursing Standard, 18 (18): 33-35.
Rutherford,M. (2008). StandardizedNursing Language: What Does It Mean for Nursing Practice?" OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing . Vol. 13 No.1.