Knowledge Translation in Nursing

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Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1272 Words
Date:  2021-03-05

Knowledge translation also referred to as knowledge transfer or implementation is simply the act of knowledge conversion from theories and into practice. The Canadian institute of health research has written that knowledge translation is The exchange, synthesis and ethically-sound application of knowledge within a complex system of interactions among researchers to accelerate the benefits of research. As Kerner. J (2005) writes, literature utilization to improve practice involves proper integration into the practice itself, ensuring that all concepts are internalized and some of the terms which are used interchangeably dont cause confusion in decision making. As Kaplan (2010) explains, a systematic approach to gather, analyze and share information is what constitutes good knowledge translation process. This knowledge translation is what creates an informed society, good ideas and transfer of skills from one person to another.

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In nursing, this knowledge transfer makes sure that the given knowledge is relevant and highly applicable in practice. Otherwise, the knowledge will be deemed as useless. According to Graham et al. (2006) a substantial amount of evidence can be presented to support and fill a gap in a particular area of nursing like dental health care. The type of knowledge used here must be refined, well-detailed and straight to the point to enhance its viability and relevance once implemented. In conclusion, knowledge translation can be seen as the process of acquiring enough knowledge giving good evidence that is then used to solve a problem. This process also includes critical evaluation of the possible outcomes be it positive or negative.


According to (Upshur 2001), evidence is simply a clear fact which leads to or makes a conclusion. Clinical evidence for medicine is key in the practice of nursing because it gives substantial information and practice of a concept, instead of using theories and the conventional methods of education where the students learn and later on do the practical with dummies. According to (Linton 2003), all clinical evidence presented is not equal, and one should not make a general assumption that one type of evidence is more important than the other. According to Pearson et al (2007) good medical evidence should be effective, relevant and give enough information about the subject at hand in a timely, meaningful and scalable way.

According to Davis (2006), one should not do something because that is the way it has always been done or the most successful doctors in the field have been doing it. Be creative and re-invent or device a new way of doing that particular routine procedure. This is especially dangerous, where there is a poorly documented procedure as this might end up creating a series of mistakes carried on from one nurse to another and to yet another as they all have the mentality of the best doctor did it, so its the best. We should all reason like humans and remember that no one is perfect, and we all make mistakes and these mistakes if taken in blindly as part of procedure, they may end up costing us a life in the field of practice. A good medical evidence should identify a particular problem that needs to be addressed, for example in cancer treatment and health care provision, select a strong research knowledge which is relevant to the problem, adopt the knowledge that has been found out from the research, assess the shortcomings that may arise in case the knowledge is implemented to promote change, monitor the use of the knowledge to make sure that it is not used for what it was not intended for and finally device an on-going knowledge use and evolution as time goes by as we see from the Canadian health services research foundation. (2010)

Fear of Change and Implementation of New Methods and Practices in Medicine

Change, can simply be defined as the act of switching from one state or position to another but in nursing change is simply shifting from old methods of maybe treatment or performing certain medical procedures to new, better options that are more efficient as well as effective.

According to Pearson (1999), most people fear to change what has already been set for them not because they are not innovative or creative, but because they dont trust their willpower to make the required change especially in clinical nursing where experimentation could be a matter of life and death. In our world today if we have to make a change in the field of medicine and nursing, we have to be ready to take risks and face life with great courage and be the medical practitioners of the next generation.

As Graham (2006) states, for research to be implemented into official practice, crucial factors such as the environment, infrastructure needed to implement the idea and above all the risk factor to the patients must be clearly looked into to make sure that the project being implemented is actually a healthcare service provision improvement project and not a death trap.

Helfrich et al (2009) states that it is important to measure an organisations ability, willingness and room for change as his change can be something small which starts in the wards for the patients like a practice to alleviate the patients pain after a surgery through administration of certain medication and physiotherapy, to something big which can be implemented in the entire health facility.


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Helfrich, C, Li, Sales, A, Sharp, N & Sales, A 2009, Organizational readiness to change assessment (ORCA): The Development of an instrument, based on the Promoting Action on Research in Health Services (PARIHS) framework', Implementation Science, vol. 4, no. 1, p. 38.

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Pearson, A, Wiechula, R, Court, A & Lockwood, C 2007, 'A Re-Consideration of What Constitutes Evidence in the Healthcare Professions', Nursing Science Quarterly, vol. 20, no. 1, January 1, 2007, pp. 85-88.

Upshur R.E.G. (2001) The status of qualitative research as evidence. In The Nature of the Qualitative Evidence (Morse J.M., Swanson J.M. & Kuzel A.J., eds). Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 526.

Hain, DJ & Kear, TM 2015, 'Using Evidence-Based Practice to Move Beyond Doing Things the Way We Have Always Done Them', Nephrology Nursing Journal, vol. 42, no. 1, 2015 Jan-Feb, pp. 11-21.

Kitson, A, Rycroft-Malone, J, Harvey, G, McCormack, B, Seers, K & Titchen, A 2008, 'Evaluating the successful implementation of evidence into practice using the PARiHS framework: theoretical and practical challenges', Implementation Science, vol. 3, no. 1, p. 1.

Mitchell, MD, Anderson, BJ, Williams, K & Umscheid, CA 2009, 'Heparin flushing and other interventions to maintain patency of central venous catheters: a systematic review', Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 65, no. 10, pp. 2007-2021

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Pearson, A, Wiechula, R, Court, A & Lockwood, C 2007, 'A Re-Consideration of What Constitutes Evidence in the Healthcare Professions', Nursing Science Quarterly, vol. 20, no. 1, January 1, 2007, pp. 85-88.

Spruce, L 2015, 'Back to Basics: Implementing Evidence-Based Practice', AORN Journal, vol. 101, no. 1, pp. 106-112.

Straus, S, Tetroe, J & Graham, I 2013, 'Knowledge to action: what it is and what it isn't', in S Straus, J Tetroe & I Graham (eds), Knowledge Translation in Health Care: Moving from Evidence to Practice, 2 nd edn, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 3-13

Wiechula, R. and witson, A. (2009). Improving the fundamentals of care for older people in the acute hospital setting: facilitating practice improvement using a Knowledge Translation Toolkitjbr_145 283..2. Evidence transfer.

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