The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) has added its voice to the next wave of the Choosing Wisely initiative, urging nurses to continue to send a strong message of advocacy for their patients’ best interests.

Not all tests, treatments and procedures lead to a patient benefit. Unnecessary practices are not only a diversion from high quality care, but can actually lead to harm.

“Through extensive consultation with our members, the Australian College of Nursing has identified 5 common tests, processes or procedures that nurses can influence and lead changes to practices which evidence shows is unnecessary,” said Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward, Chief Executive Officer of ACN.

The five key recommendations by ACN and its members are:

Don’t replace peripheral intravenous catheter unless clinically indicated.
Don’t restrict the ability of people with diabetes to self-manage blood glucose monitoring unless there is a clinical indication to do so.
Don’t routinely administer antipyretics with the sole aim of reducing body temperature in un-distressed children.
Don’t use urinary catheters to manage urinary incontinence unless all other appropriate options have proved to be ineffective or to prevent would infection or skin breakdown.
Don’t initiate plain X-ray for foot and ankle trauma unless criteria of the Ottawa Ankle Rules are met.
“As the voice of the nursing profession, the Australian College of Nursing has a responsibility to take a leadership role in representing the expertise of our members and amplifying their collective voice about improving health care for patients and their families. A crucial part of this is not only the responsible management of finite health care resources but also ensuring that nurses’ expertise and recommendations are an important part of shaping health care practice and policy,” said Kylie Ward.