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Ethnographic Investigation of Oral Care in the Intensive Care Unit

Louise Anne A. Gayo

August 31, 2016

1. Summary
Oral care in Intensive care unit department is often taken for granted or is not
the priority of the nurses. It is clearly an important aspect to deliver proper
hygiene to patients in order to achieve optimal health without having an
additional pay or stay in the hospital. Nurses stated that technical barriers
such as tube and biting of the tubes are one of the main reasons why they
had a difficulty delivering an effective oral hygiene to patients. With this
reason, accumulation of bacteria-rich oral biofilms and development of
ventilator associated pneumonia is common to patients. Some nurses
reported that there is no proper education conducted for the proper oral
hygiene, this big gap in the procedural knowledge may serve as a serious
implications to not properly address the problem of developing VAP.

2. In your opinion, how well does the outcome of the study advance our
knowledge in nursing practice?
It is very important to have a proper education and training to perform mouth
care. What caught my attention is how proper oral care is taken for granted
and few nurses and health care professionals actually see it as important. The
researchers addressed common problems in documentation, lack of actual
education and practice, and addressing technical barriers. The outcome of the
study just showed us that we have to properly address the problem since we
are not helping the patient if we dont admit that there could be additional
problems to be involved (e.g VAP). We should always know whats behind the
reason of every action that we make so that we would properly address what
is the patient at risk at, at least with this study we now know that a simple
oral hygiene is important and gaps in knowledge needs to be addressed.

3. Did the author provide fresh insights or stimulate a needed

discussion in the clinical issue raised in your article?

The author provided fresh insights about the clinical issue. Nurses and other
health care professionals needs to discuss the clinical issue in order to provide
a quality care for the patient and for faster recovery of health.

4. What are the four distinct lessons you have learned from the

discussion that you can use as a nurse?

I have learned that education, theories and rationales behind the practices in
the clinical is important and we should always be updated with current

research in order to address the problems that may come up in the future.
Oral care should not be taken for granted since this is a big aspect of the
patients integrity and comfort. Without the proper knowledge and skills to be

conducted, patient might develop additional diseases and other illnesses.

Preventing the problem is better than curing it, VAP can be developed if
proper oral care is not given to patients. With this reason, nurses and other
health care professionals should not undervalue the process of oral hygiene
even though they might face technical barriers or difficulties in handling the

We nurses should always know how to take care of our patients, we are not
only solving the current problem but we should also develop a hindsight of
what problems or diseases might arise if we do not give a holistic care to our