Provide students time and support to find relevant evidence
‘Acquiring’ relevant evidence involves first identifying the type of information that is required to address the question. Is the most current research evidence likely to be helpful (for example, to find the best diagnostic test for a particular condition with a particular patient type)? Is a reputable website or textbook more likely to provide the information needed (for example, to learn about the nature and symptoms of a particular condition)? Is there a need to access published information at all? Perhaps the question requires information to be sought orally from a patient, a carer, another practitioner, or another agency. After the information needs are clearly identified, a strategy is needed to ensure the most trustworthy available evidence is obtained in the most efficient way possible. Expert assistance from a health librarian might be helpful, if the question calls for published evidence.
Prompts for facilitating 'Acquiring'
- What kind(s) of information might assist?
- Where might you find that information?
- Who might be able to help?
- How will you find the information in the most efficient way?
Prompts for assessing 'Acquiring'
- What types of information have you acquired to inform your practice?
- Where or how did you source that information?
- Did you have any difficulties? How did you try to overcome the difficulty?
General tips & strategies for 'Acquiring'
- Consider the broad range of information types and resources that might help to answer the question.
- Check to see if your workplace provides access to a health librarian, if help is needed to use a research database.
- Consider the timing, when raising questions. Non-urgent questions should not be raised in times when more urgent tasks need attention. Keeping a list of EBP questions means that non-urgent questions can be returned to at a less busy time.
- If a research database is searched, keep track of the search strategies used, so effective searches can be returned to later and less effective searches can be refined.
- Rapid answers can sometimes be obtained by asking practitioners with a high level of clinical mastery in the particular field of practice, or the person for whom care is being provided.
- Time should be regularly set aside for acquiring evidence that responds to questions identified in clinical practice. Students and recent graduates particularly will benefit from frequently-scheduled time (e.g., daily) to discuss with peers and/or educators the types of people and conditions they have encountered, questions that have arisen in relation to the care they are providing, and the sources and types of information they have so far acquired to answer those questions.