RSSArchive for December, 2009

Recognizing CAUTIs

Hospitals with a focus on providing safe patient care through evidence-based practices have been working to reduce preventable conditions such as central line-associated bloodstream infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia for the past few years.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is defined as an inflammatory response of the urinary epithelium to invasion by a pathogen and can be divided into two forms:

Uncomplicated: Occurs in otherwise healthy community-dwelling women and produces characteristic symptoms such as dysuria (burning and pain with urination), suprapubic discomfort, and frequent urination.

Complicated: Occurs in patients with an abnormality of the urinary system or other health problem that compromises host defenses or treatment responses. [more]

Creating a culture that drives great nurse performance

Organizations do not achieve outstanding results by accident—they take a powerful, common-sense approach that motivates all employees to consistently do their best. Exceptional organizations apply an approach that promotes outstanding individual performance, called the performance pyramid. At its core, “the power of the pyramid” is a human resource management tool.

The performance pyramid model is a common-sense approach to creating a nursing performance improvement culture. Here are the steps to achieve great nurse performances: visualize these steps starting from the bottom of the pyramid (the largest part of the pyramid that supports the whole structure) and moving up through the various layers that make up the whole: [more]

2010 could be the international year of the nurse

2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s death, and Holly Shaw, RN, PhD, assistant professor at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY, and her students are committed to making 2010 the international year of the nurse. Shaw and her students recently attended the Human Rights Day 2009 at the United Nations (UN) where they first heard about the idea.

The idea originated from three places: Sigma Theta Tau International, Nightingale Initiative for Global Health, and the Florence Nightingale Museum in London. The aim to have 2010 designated as the year of the nurse is to both recognize nurses around the world and to help promote the UN’s eight millennium development goals. [more]

Virtual nurse aids with patient discharge

As medical records turn from paper to electronic only, and simulation training aids in nursing education, it is not hard to believe a virtual nurse is helping patients at the bedside with discharge information. Timothy Bickmore, a computer scientist at Northeastern University in Boston, MA designed the virtual nurse “Elizabeth” to help nurses and patients during the discharge process.

Elizabeth is a computer-animated character created from combining the facial expressions and gestures of doctors and nurses Bickmore taped. With the help of an animator, Bickmore was able to create all the animation segments the nurse delivers which Elizabeth will mimic when interacting with a patient. [more]

Nursing advocate makes list of top 20 people who make healthcare better

Each year, HealthLeaders Media selects 20 people who are making a difference for good in healthcare. The selections range from high-profile people who foster big changes to people who may not be household names, but whose contributions to healthcare have inspired positive change. This year, one of the winners is a nurse from Iowa.

For more than three decades, Barbara “BJ” Hannon, MSN, RN, CPHQ, has dedicated her life to the nursing profession and helping others strive toward excellence. It was not until the facility she was working at decided to apply for ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® (MRP) designation, that she became involved with educating other Iowa organizations about MRP.

“One of the reasons that I will go anywhere and talk to anyone about MRP, is that I really want every hospital on the face of this earth to get designated,” she says. “Designation requires that hospitals have participatory scheduling, no mandatory overtime, that they involve nurses in shared governance, that they help nurses use evidence in their practice. All the things that MRP requires make life better for nurses in the hospitals. And because I’ve been a nurse for 34 years, I know the way it used to be; and it used to be terrible.” [more]

An access code does not always guarantee medication safety

The next time you open a Pyxis machine in your organization, you may want to think twice about the contents of the syringe. Trinidad Smith, 28, a New Hampshire registered nurse, has pleaded guilty to tampering with the machine’s contents for her own personal use. Using a personalized access code to open the machine, Smith took syringes and vials containing Demerol and Dilaudid for her own use. Once Smith was finished using the drugs, she then filled the syringes with saline and returned them back to the Pyxis machine. [more]

General Test-Taking Guidelines

Successful test-taking is a learnable skill. Some people freeze up when faced with taking a test and find themselves forgetting facts that they knew well only hours before the exam. Others become physically ill or very nervous. However, there are specific strategies for taking tests, which sometimes depends on the nature of the test themselves. There are also general strategies for preparing tests. These often pertain to ensuring learners’ general health and well-being.

The following are some general strategies to suggest to nursing students and staff members to avoid test panic and to do their best on examinations: [more]

More nurses are finding ways to make a difference outside the hospital

Nurses are always trying to find ways to do more for the profession that they love. In most cases where nurses want to do more, volunteering or organizing charity events and fundraisers are the most common ways to help other facilities and those patients in need. Three nurses—each with more than three decades of experience—have found their own way to make a difference in the world by volunteering their time and efforts to bettering healthcare and patients’ lives. [more]