Journal Article

Rituals in Nursing: intramuscular injections


Aims and objectives: This discursive paper will consider to what extent Intramuscular injection (IM) technique can be described to remain entrenched in ritualistic practice and how evidence based practice should be considered and applied to the nursing practice of this essential skill. Background: The notion of rituals within nursing and the value or futile impact they afford to this essential nursing skill will be critically reviewed. Design: discursive paper Method: Literature review from 2002 to 2013 to review the current position of IM injections Results: Within the literature review it became clear that there are several actions within the administration of an IM injection that could be perceived as ritualistic and require consideration for contemporary nursing practice. Conclusions: The essential nursing skill of intramuscular injection often appears to fit into the description of a ritualised practice. By providing evidence based care nurses will find themselves empowered to make informed decisions based on clinical need and using their clinical judgment. Relevance to clinical practice: For key learning, it will outline with rationale, how site selection, needle selection, insertion technique and aspiration can be cited as examples of routinised or ritualistic practice and why these should be rejected in favour of an evidence based approach. The effect on some student nurses of experiencing differing practices between what is taught at university compared to what is often seen in clinical practice will also be discussed.

Attached files


Greenway, K

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Nursing


Year of publication: 2014
Date of RADAR deposit: 2016-01-27

Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Rituals in Nursing: intramuscular injections


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