Sample Nursing Essay Paper on Clinical Guideline for Antimicrobial Prophylaxis in Surgery

Clinical Guideline for Antimicrobial Prophylaxis in Surgery

            The use of antimicrobial prophylaxis reduces the risks of infections and contributes to accelerated recovery among patients requiring surgery. The clinical guidelines for antimicrobial prophylaxis were developed jointly by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. The development of these clinical guidelines was also in collaboration with the Surgical Infection Society. These guidelines were created to provide healthcare practitioners with a standardized approach to the proper use of antimicrobial therapies during surgery.

            The authors provided an outline on the development of practice guidelines and their uses and included the strengths of studies included as evidence in the clinical guideline. The clinical guidelines used studies collected from 1999 to June 2010 to incorporate evidence relevant in updating the 1999 guidelines. The current 2013 antimicrobial clinical guidelines included research articles published in 2011 and 2012. The clinical guidelines provide support for the articles included through in-text citation and proper referencing. The authors have utilized primary studies as evidence through the inclusion of randomized controlled trials and evidence from other guidelines such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention protocols (Bratzler, et al., 2013; Thomas, 2013). The new clinical guidelines provides a discussion of the changes in the old procedures using evidence and data obtained from research articles.

            Control studies using antimicrobial agents and placebo were included in the guideline to determine the efficacy of the therapies used. The clinical guidelines provide recommendations for different antimicrobial agents and specific surgical procedures. It also provides alternative agents that can be used in patients with allergic reactions. Key updates in the clinical guideline included preoperative-dose and its timing, using weight-based approaches to determine dosage (Bratzler, et al., 2013). Other updates included prophylaxis duration, common principles, and use of therapy on special patient populations.


            Clarification of the level of evidence used in studies is essential as it helps researchers determine the accuracy of the results presented in the article. Use of level IV, V, VI, or VII evidence increases the risks of systematic errors or biasness in the article. Ensuring that evidence used in an article promotes reliability is important in clinical practice. Evidence obtained from primary sources such as randomized controlled trials and quantitative or qualitative research studies provide more reliable results as compared to evidence collected from secondary sources (Bick & Graham, 2013). Evidence-based nursing is an effective approach in clinical and communal management of patients.


Bick, D., & Graham, I. D. (2013). Evaluating the Impact of Implementing Evidence-Based Practice. John Wiley & Sons.

Bratzler, D. W., Dellinger, P. E., Olsen, K. M., Perl, T. M., Auwaerter, P. G., Bolon, M. .., . . . Weinstein, R. A. (2013). Clinical Practice Guidelines for Antimicrobial Prophylaxis in Surgery. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 70(3), 195-283. Retrieved from

Thomas, F. M. (2013). New Guidelines for Antimicrobial Prophylaxis in Surgery. Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice, 21(3) 185-186. Retrieved from