Even though arguments presented in various information resources appear to be sound, not all written sources are reputable. To assess the trustworthiness of a piece of writing, I examine numerous factors connected to the content as well as the person or publisher who provides it. According to Esparrago-Kalidas (2021), this method proves to be effective since it is based on the CRAAP technique. The questions for evaluation that this method includes are whether the information is up to date, whether it is directly connected to the topic, and whether it is possible to find sources for supporting ideas. Moreover, one should determine if these sources are trustworthy, with which purpose they were written, and if they have been published lately. Finally, finding an author or a publisher’s mentions and credentials is necessary.
The “hierarchy of evidence” model is also helpful for the purpose of establishing the reliability of the information, specifically in nursing. In this framework, studies are ascribed levels of evidence depending on the methodological worth of their design, soundness, and usefulness to patient treatment. The degree of recommendation of these sources is determined by the presence of systematic review analysis as well as randomized controlled trial results (I level, the highest). Next, evidence acquired from a well-designed randomized controlled trial guarantees level II, and data derived from non-randomized controlled trials suppose level III (Ball & Regan, 2019). The following levels (IV-VII) signify lesser reliability and include only case-control studies, evidence from multiple descriptive and qualitative systematic reviews, the use of one such review, and, finally, information based on authorities’ opinions (Ball & Regan, 2019). For my professional life, I tend to try to find sources that belong to the first three levels since nursing practice demands being critical and using only the most reliable sources. However, in my personal life, I might employ lower-rank information sometimes since it often takes less time to find it, but this approach applies only to the least essential life matters.
As I mentioned, the sources of information for me as an individual and as a nurse are not the same. For my personal life, I mostly learn from my experience of interaction with people. The second way is through the internet, which is quite helpful because of the emergence of available online courses and educational videos. Yet, as a nurse, I have gained my college from my institution and additional information resources recommended by my professors or found by me in authoritative journals, such as PubMed.
There are some ways to determine that information is accurate. First, sites administered by government agencies, nonprofit organizations, foundations, or schools and institutions usually indicate reliability. Second, expertise-based websites are generally credible, but commercial ones are not. Next, one should check the article or other information source for any bias, as well as consider the design of the website or paper. Finally, the date of publication should be recent, and some verification is necessary to regard information as accurate.
The best practice in how to gain information in nursing is critical learning from recent and authoritative resources. To adopt the evidence-based practice, nurses must have access to the newest research, be able to judge its quality, and, if necessary, adjust practice to integrate it. Nurses in hospital settings also have many information sources that they can utilize to supplement their knowledge of the patient. In addition to verbal contacts with the patient and family, nurses collect information from other members of the health care team.
Ball, E., & Regan, P. (2019). Interpreting research to inform practice: The hierarchy of evidence framework. Journal of Health Visiting, 7(1), 32–38.
Esparrago-Kalidas, A. (2021). The effectiveness of CRAAP test in evaluating credibility of sources. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 1(2), 1–14.