Article Review

Published: 2021/11/04
Number of words: 1022

Most patients in medical-surgical units tend to spend much of their leisure time watching television. This, however, is discouraged by medics due to the adverse effects it has on patients. This paper uses article critique techniques to highlight some of the effects of excessive television watching and screen time. In addition, the paper suggests some of the alternative ways of utilizing leisure time.

Summary of the Article

The article Turn off the TV: Benefits of offering alternative activities on medical-surgical units, seeks to sensitize nurses on the dangers of excessive television watching. Excessive screen time is linked to negative short and long-term health consequences such as increased sedentary behavior, psychosocial effects, diabetes, and cardiovascular issues (Nelson, 2018). The article postulates that patients admitted to medical-surgical units spend most of their time in rooms watching television. Consequently, patients end up experiencing deficient diversional activity, boredom, restlessness, and depression.

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The article suggests that nurses should introduce alternate leisure activities to the patients such as arts and coloring, puzzles and games, and meditation. Other activities include deep breathing and relaxation techniques, and music. In addition, the article notes that some patients may resist trying an alternative leisure activity. In such situations, the nurses are advised to dedicate some time to educate these patients on the importance of participating in such activities. For such patients, nurses should assess the most appropriate activity for them. In some cases, nurses may note that the most appropriate activities are not in their respective units. In such instances, nurses should participate in the nurse-led campaign for quality improvements (Nelson, 2018). They can do this by talking to their unit managers about starting an activity program.

The Report as a Research

The article is a report of a research. It involves a systematic study of the trend of medical-surgical patients. Information in the article is carefully collected, analyzed, interpreted, and presented in an organized manner. The presented data is accompanied by facts from long-time observation. For instance, the article states that the average stay for medical and surgical patients is 4.7-5.6 days (Nelson, 2018).

Target Audience

The target audience for the article is nurses in the medical-surgical units. The article shifts the responsibility of educating the patients about the advantages of decreasing screen time to the medical-surgical nurses. Moreover, it suggests that nurses should be on the frontline in championing for improved care to patients (Nelson, 2018). They are advised to do this by personally offering alternative leisure activities to patients.

Nature of Information in the Article

The information in the article was easy to understand. The study is well organized and accompanied by facts. Most importantly, one can easily relate the facts stated in the paper to the reality on the ground. The results of the study are credible judging from the general observation in the medical-surgical units. The language used in the article is simple and fluent.

Interesting Facts from the Article

One of the interesting facts that I learned from the article is that uncontrolled screen time and television watching can cause sleep disturbances and adverse psychosocial effects (Nelson, 2018). I came to know that leisure activities such as coloring result in a decrease in treatment-related symptoms (Nelson, 2018). Additionally, I learned from the article that relaxation and meditation relieve symptoms of heart failure and fatigue in a human being (Nelson, 2018).

Information from the Article That I Can Use In My Clinical Practice

There is a lot of information from the article that I can efficiently use in my clinical practice. For instance the article states that meditation, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques helps in relieving symptoms of heart failure (Nelson, 2018). With this information, I will spare some time to assist the patients perform such activities during their leisure time. Knowing that sedentary behavior has adverse psychosocial effects, I will limit my sitting and computer usage time to be able to interact well with the patients.

Recommending the Article

I would recommend the article to other nursing students. It is helpful in averting the unknown dangers of a sedentary lifestyle as it will enlighten them on the alternative forms of leisure other than watching televisions. Since the article is evidence-based, it will enable the nursing students to be more creative and dynamic in the provision of care to the patients in the medical-surgical units.

Article Information as Evidence-Based

The article is evidence-based. It integrates the research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values. For instance, the author of the article notes that excessive screen time is dangerous for patients (Nelson, 2018. To promote patient values, the paper suggests that alternate leisure activities should be introduced in the hospitals. Activities such as drawing and coloring when introduced will ultimately lead to improved patient outcome.

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Effect of the Article

The article made me want to find out more about the benefits of alternative and healthy leisure activities. For example, I would like to learn about other causes of heart failure and fatigue other than the ones highlighted in the article. I would also wish to know if there is a way patients can watch televisions and participate in other activities simultaneously without one interfering with the other.

As highlighted above, the article Turn off the TV: Benefits of offering alternative activities on medical-surgical units is helpful to nurses, students, and patients. It is a research that highlights the adverse effects of spending excessive amounts of time on TV and offers remedies, as well as, alternatives. The article is of great help to practicing nurses as it equips them with the relevant knowledge on preventing and minimizing diabetes, cardiovascular, and metabolic illnesses.


Nelson, L. (2018). Turn off the TV: Benefits of offering alternative activities on medical-surgical units. Medsurg Nursing, 27(1), 9-31.

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