Best practice in TB nursing

On International Nurses Day (12 May) The Union supports the day’s call to action that no matter the location, no matter the setting, healthcare should be accessible to all.

In support of this, The Union’s Nurses and Allied Professionals Sub-Section (NAPS) is running a webinar for Union members on Monday, 14 May from 14:00-15:00 (Paris time) on the Best Practice for The Care of Patients with Tuberculosis (TB): A guide for low-income countries.

The webinar will be presented by Carrie Tudor, NAPS Sub-Section member and TB Project Director for the International Council of Nurses (ICN), who will introduce The Union Best Practice TB Guide, which provides practical guidance to health workers on the front line of TB control. The Guide has been recently been updated and the second edition is now available.

The webinar will discuss how best practice improves the quality of care and thereby improves local TB control effort, and will then go on to review a selection of case studies on how the Guide has been used in practice to address gaps in care and support to patients with TB.

The Guide is used around the world by nurses and front line staff, not only to treat patients, but also to support their work in making sure that the right facilities are in place to treat TB patients. Registered nurse, Jojo Moyo, used the Guide to convince his hospital Director to improve TB diagnosis systems at a hospital in Lusaka, Zambia. Using the Guide, he was able to identify the need for new sputum collection shelters at the hospital (needed to effectively and reliably diagnose TB). Mr Moyo says, “I used the Best Practice Guide to justify the need for the shelters. The Director went further and sanctioned sputum collection training for staff sponsored by the hospital so that we can give the best service to our patients.”

In China, Yang Xuejing, Chief Nurse of the TB ward at Harbin Chest Hospital, has found that the Guide had a profound impact on TB nursing care, saying “[The guide] prompts us to focus on the needs of TB patients”. She has found that the Best Practice Guide has helped make nurses more confident: “They are able to give the patient proper and adequate guidance. Communication between nurses and patients has increased. The nurses are now acutely aware of the stigma that patients face, and how that causes changes in a patient's emotions. Now we are setting the standard for the practice of TB nursing in our hospital.”

Carrie Tudor says that TB treatment is not generally part of nurse training, yet in low-resource settings there are fewer doctors, meaning that TB care is often carried out by nurses. This means high quality nursing care supported by resources such as the Best Practice Guide is vital to the successful treatment of TB. Only with resources like this can we aim to fulfil the aims of International Nurses Day that healthcare is truly accessible for all.  

Members of The Union are invited to register for the webinar.

Find out more about NAPS and other Union Scientific Sub-Sections here.