What is it about?

Around the late 1980s there was a 'universal' call for all nurses to incorporate health promoting strate- gies into their everyday practice as part of their pro- fessional role (Doll 1989). There has been subsequent and numerous legislation that attempts to provide a continuing concensus towards 'whole- sale' adoption of such initiatives, so that nursing is seen to offer an active contribution to the discipline of health promotion (RCN 1992, Doll 1993a, DoH/NHSME 1993b, Doll 1995, Doll 1998). Despite this plethora of discussionary, advisory and legislative documentation, there remains a concern that nursing has not been as pro-active in its adop- tion of health promotion as it could have been (Dines 1994, Mitchinson 1995, Benson & Latter 1998). Even more concerning is the fact that several authors allude to the fact that it is the acute-setting that tends to be the least progressive in this area of nursing practice (Dines & Cribb 1993, Latter et al. 1993, McBride 1994). As far as the acute orthopaedic environment is concerned, a particular problem is the distinct lack of literature that con- tributes specifically to any evidence of past or on- going studies into health promotion practice (Whitehead 1999a). With this evidence in mind, this account sets out to offer the orthopaedic nurse an overview of differing issues and insights, with regard to successfully incorporating health promo- tional activities into their working practices.

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Why is it important?

Orthopaedic nurses have the potential to be at the forefront of health promotion practice, within acute- settings, especially as this remains a relatively unex- plored discipline for many specialties. There is little evidence to support that orthopaedic settings adopt a coherent or consistant approach to health promot- ing practice. This situation is easily resolvable given the time, effort and resources that health promotion initiatives require. It is in the best interests of clients and health professionals, to be seen to 'embrace' this discipline and adopt a systematic and comprehensive strategy to incorporating it into routine practice (Whitehead 1999b).

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This page is a summary of: The application of health promoting practice within the orthopaedic-setting, Journal of Orthopaedic Nursing, May 1999, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/s1361-3111(99)80034-x.
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