Nurses' practices in the context of primary healthcare in Portugal

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Abstract

Aim

The aim of this study was to identify and categorise the nursing practices of Portuguese nurses in the context of primary healthcare services.

Methods

A scoping review was undertaken using the Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences literature database; Spanish Bibliographic Index of Health Sciences; Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online; Cochrane Library; Scientific Electronic Library Online; El Banco de Datos de Enfermería nursing database; and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature databases. The search strategy included articles of original research, which involved nurses or nursing practices in the context of Portugal’s primary healthcare, published in Portuguese, Spanish and/or English. The review involved the analysis of 11 studies published in Latin American, Brazilian and Portuguese journals, therefore all were available in Portuguese, published between 2007 and 2013.

Results

From the analysis it was possible to establish four categories of primary healthcare nurses’ work: technical procedures, health promotion, independent actions, and management and training practices.

Conclusions

Primary healthcare nursing in Portugal is challenged in the context of making more effective use of its own competences, investing more in actions of health promotion and disease prevention and less in technical curative procedures, thus contributing to better performance in the Portuguese National Health System.

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