Finding Nursing Articles using CINAHL

  1. Hello!

    So, I need your help! I have my previous degree in psychology and we had to write plenty of papers using peer reviewed articles. Back then, although it wasn't my favorite thing to do, I could usually find articles that I needed with out too much struggle, just as long as I put aside enough time. This is not the case in nursing school. I am having so much difficulty finding the articles I need. I've spent LITERALLY all day yesterday trying to find four articles on the best method of discharge teaching for pediatric parents (ex: using dvd instruction, verbal, written instructions such as pamphlets, classes, etc) and I've only found two good articles. I'm using the CINAHL database. I have tried so many different search terms and I am running out of ideas. If you happen to know of any articles that are based on discharge teaching of pediatric patient's parents, with a focus on the method (ex: using dvd instruction, verbal, written, classes, etc) that are from a nursing journal, and published after 2008, PLEASE let me know. Also, if you know of any FREE databases or suggestions of terms I should search for that would be great too! I am at my wits end! I would normally suck it up and keep searching, but I have other assignments and exams I have to worry about on top of this. Thank you!!!!!!
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  3. by   nurseprnRN
    Your college librarian should have some expertise in these sorts of searches, too, and they probably have a contract with EBSCO (who owns CINAHL) so they can be done for free.

    You might also consider looking in current editions of good pedi nursing textbooks; there's usually no hard-and-fast rule that you MUST use only articles in the periodic literature.

    Often a Google Scholar search pulls up useful stuff; sometimes even Amazon gives you screen shots of book pages with your search terms on them.
  4. by   llg
    GrnTea gave some good suggestions. Another suggestion is to look at the reference list for the articles you DID find. That may lead you to more. That's the "old-fashioned" not-online way of doing research, but it is still effective. Similarly look at the reference lists of textbooks and other books on both pediatric care -- and ADULT patient teaching. Remember, the people you are trying to teach in this instance is not just the kid ... but also the parents. So, information you find on teaching adults is also relevant.

    Finally, realize that the "perfect" articles you seek might not exist. Nursing students often make the mistake of assuming that the answers to their questions have already been well-researched and published. That is usually NOT the case. As an academic discipline, nursing is relatively "young." Up until recently, there have been very few nurses engaged in the processes of research and publication. So there is still a lot of work to do in that area. You may have to find information about patient teaching in general ... and then combine that with a knowledge of pediatrics in general ... to synthesize a good approach for patient/parent teaching in a pediatric setting.

    Good luck to you.
  5. by   hodgieRN
    I often had the same problem. I would brainstorm and come up with the perfect topic for my essay, but there were no articles. Here are some pointers for you....

    When you are brainstorming topics, come up with a couple topics instead of 1 or 2....maybe 3 or 4. Be very general. Do some quick searches and find out what brings back the most references. Write your essay based on that. Your instructor isn't going to dock you because you didn't have a super original idea. Nursing instructors already know all the topics. They want to know if you can do what is asked. My essay on PICC infection prevention wasn't anything new, but wrote the hell out of it. If you are set on one topic, you will spend days combing through articles. It's not worth it. I mean, pick something that interests you and stay original, but the essay isn't going to change nursing as we know it. You have to be original and engaging, but practical. Your time should be spent on writing a really good essay. That's what they are looking at. How well you can argue your point, how well did you support your thesis, does your essay reflect your ability to research proper information? If there aren't good articles, move on. If you can't find anything on pediatric discharge information, there probably isn't enough info to write the essay.

    Know what you are searching. Your articles must be nursing-based, but the irony is many articles are medically-based. Stick with the nursing articles and don't be sucked in by the medical part. Learn to pick out the nursing parts of the article. If you are getting a lot of hits with medical articles, you may need to change your topic. A nursing article is either really, really good or it's vague nonsense. If you are picking articles like "Outcome evaluation for cultural interaction across the lifespan" or " Perspective aspects within diverse populations who drink coffee on monday mornings," then you are setting yourself up for hours of mindless researching. Nursing articles can be very limited with their content (they have to walk the fine line between nursing and medicine), so remember to stay practical within the nursing realm.

    Don't be afraid to start with broad with the topics. Trim away and find out the specific thing you want to write about. Many times, you will find the exact thing you want to write about after you have spent some time on broader subjects. f.y.i., If you ever thought that your care plans are stupid and you hate doing them....well, not only do they help you think like a nurse, but you can use the care plans process for essays ideas. The goals on your care plan can be great topics. If someone has a diabetic ulcer, what you do from a nursing standpoint can give you a great outline for articles ideas. Use topics like immobility, altered thought process, risk for infection, ineffective thermoregulation, electrolyte imbalances, etc and use that to drive your ideas for research. All of those things have tons and tons of articles. Then, pick out the little thing that intrigues you. So, a good base idea. Then, spin it down and get a topic. And, do you know how many articles there are on heating and cooling? Tons!

    Be smart about the paper. Find out what the instructor wants and give them that. Let that drive your essay.