Nursing 3 antibiotic Practice Test
Antibiotics are ineffective in treating many respiratory infections but patients may expect them and try to pressure health professionals into prescribing them
In this article…
- Why nurse prescribers managing patients with respiratory infections may face challenges
- Key strategies nurses use to avoid prescribing antibiotics
Samantha Rowbotham is a PhD student, Sarah Peters is a senior lecturer in psychology, both at the School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester.
Rowbotham S, Peters S (2013) Resisting patient demand for antibiotics. Nursing Times; 109: 31/32, 14-15.
This study explored the challenges faced by nurses in using a no-prescribing strategy when managing patients with self-limiting respiratory tract infections (RTIs).
Nurse prescribers often see patients with RTIs who do not need antibiotics but we know very little about their experiences of their consultations.
To understand the challenges faced by nurse prescribers who are managing patients with RTIs who do not need antibiotics, and to identify nurses’ training needs in this area.
Interviews and focus groups were carried out with non-medical prescribers, 90% of whom were nurse prescribers.
Non-medical prescribers were unlikely to prescribe antibiotics due to patient pressure and felt they had the skills to manage patients’ conditions without using this type of medication. They felt that guidelines supported their decision making and welcomed support from colleagues in dealing with “demanding” patients. Despite this, some prescribers were wary about dealing with consultations with patients with RTIs.
Non-medical prescribers recognise the skills needed to manage RTI consultations without prescribing antibiotics. Training should help to build confidence and skills.
- This article has been double-blind peer reviewed
- Figures and tables can be seen in the attached print-friendly PDF file of the complete article in the ‘Files’ section of this page
5 key points
- Nurse prescribers often see patients with viral respiratory tract infections who expect to be given antibiotics
- A “no-prescribing” strategy was introduced to address the overprescribing of antibiotics for RTIs
- Patients often do not know the difference between viral and bacterial infections and so don’t realise that antibiotics may not help
- Strategies used to manage consultations without prescribing antibiotics include educating patients about RTIs and self-management
- Training for non-medical prescribers should aim to increase their confidence when dealing with such consultations
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