The following assignment will review a chosen piece of nursing research and reflect on how it could have an impact on practice.

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The following assignment will review a chosen piece of nursing research and reflect

on how it could have an impact on practice.

According to Polit & Beck (2004), the aim of critically appraising an article is ‘an

attempt to determine its strengths and limitations.’

The chosen article is titled ‘Effects of changing needles prior to administering heparin


The reason for the choice of this particular article was the belief that it would enhance

the knowledge of heparin and the administration of this medication, which is of an

area of interest to the reader.

It can be seen in the self-assessment and action plan (appendix 1) that the

administration of subcutaneous injections is an area that was felt needed to be looked

at due to not using this particular skill for some time.

The article was also felt to be relevant to practice as it was of a recent nature and was

also based on a skill that is used daily in nursing.

The Oxford Dictionary of Nursing defines heparin as ‘a prevention of blood

coagulation, and a ‘prevention of deep-vein thrombosis following surgery.’

The article is of a quantitative approach, this is described by Burns & Grove (1997) as

‘a formal, objective, systemic process in which numerical data are utilised to obtain


In order to effectively critique, guidelines produced by Bennett (2001)

will be followed (appendices 2). This will assist in producing an organised sub headed

piece of work.


The research was published in the Journal of Acute and Critical Care, volume 29(1),

January/February 2000. This illustrates that it is relevantly recent and is not dated

which could have posed questions regarding validity and the reliability.

The study was carried out in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was carried out by Lori

Klingman who is a registered nurse. This suggests that the researcher does

have a relevant and necessary academical background.

The purpose of the study is to determine if changing needles before administering

subcutaneous heparin would cause less ecchymosis at the injection site. defines ecchymosis as ‘the skin discoloration caused by the escape of

blood into the tissues from ruptured blood vessels.’

The researcher hypothesized that changing the needle before injecting heparin into a

patient’s abdominal skin would produce fewer and smaller ecchymotic areas when

observed 48 hours after the procedure.

Literature review

Clifford (1997), states that there are two main purposes of a literature review, ‘Firstly,

to identify the need to undertake the research in the first instance ad secondly to

inform the researcher about potential designs that could be adopted.’

It was difficult to identify where the literature review was included as it was not given

a designated section.

On reading through the research it can be seen that it is contained within different

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sections of the research, the majority of it being within the introduction.

Abbot & Sapsford (1998) recognise that ‘the introduction may include the literature


Due to the article being published in 2000, it is expected that the literature used will

be relevantly recent.

From reading the reference list of the article, it can be seen that this is the case and

only one reference before 1990 has been used. It was also felt that the references used

were relevant to the subject of the research.

The ...

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