RSSArchive for November, 2015

Managing sundowning in elderly patients

Many elderly or dementia patients experience a condition known as sundowning, when they experience heightened state of delirium as evening progresses. Sundowning can manifest as hallucinations, restlessness, confusion, and rapid mood swings between agitation, anger, depression, and paranoia. Dr. David Scales of Cambridge Health Alliance recently talked about the challenges that many healthcare personnel have to face when a formerly amiable, lucid patient becomes delirious and inconsolable.

While the causes of sundowning are unknown, organizations such as the Mayo Clinic, and the Alzheimer’s Association have advice on how to reduce its symptoms. The two main recommendations are to help patients find a regular sleep cycle and making them feel comfortable with their surroundings. Some methods include: [more]

Air seal of ORs compromised by high foot traffic

Johns Hopkins Medicine has released a study showing that OR doors are opened an average of every 2.5 minutes during surgeries, according to a study of 100 knee arthroplasties and 91 hip arthroplasties. The study found that for every 1.5 hours of surgery, doors were held open for an average of 9.6 minutes [9% of the total cut-to-close time.]

Most ORs are slightly pressurized so that air will flow out into the hospital corridor instead of the operating room, which limits the risk of airborne germs entering the OR and causing infections. The Johns Hopkins study, however, shows that in 40% of the reviewed cases, doors were open long enough to depressurize the OR. [more]

Are your nurses getting their flu shots?  

More healthcare personnel (HCP) are getting their flu shots, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, but there are still large gaps in immunization. During the 2014-2015 flu season, 77% of HCPs were vaccinated against the flu, a 14% increase from the previous season. The highest rates of immunization—at 90.4%–was  with HCPs working in hospitals.

While the increase is a positive step, it was also revealed that only 75% of nonclinical personnel had received the vaccine, including food service workers, laundry workers, janitors, housekeeping staff, and maintenance staff. The numbers were even lower for aides and assistants, with only 64% immunized. [more]

Rock Your Health: Got the sugar blues?

Depression is predicted to be the second-leading burden on society among all diseases by the year 2020. At the same time, global consumption of refined high glycemic index (GI) foods is steadily rising and there is some evidence that these trends may be related.

A study I recently came across in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that the incidence of depression in postmenopausal women may be linked to an increased consumption of high glycemic index foods, added sugars, and refined grains (Gangwisch, J., et al. High glycemic index diet as a risk factor for depression: analyses from the Women’s Health Initiative. Am J Clin Nutr doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.103846).

Now that we are entering what may be termed the Sugar Season, it is a good time to pay attention to this message. Ask yourself these questions: [more]

Free webcast on incident-based nursing peer review

Nursing Peer Review in Action: Experienced Nurses Share Best Practices and Lessons Learned

Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern

HCPro is hosting a free webcast on December 3 about formal, case-based nursing peer review. Join Sarah Moody, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, and June Marshall, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, for a free 60-minute webcast on how incident-based nursing peer review benefits an organization and elevates nurse practice.

These experienced speakers will clarify the difference between formal, incident-based nursing peer review and the type of review that involves peer evaluation of nurses’ performance. They will demonstrate how incident-based nursing peer review can elevate quality and the professionalism of nursing through sharing case studies and lessons learned.

Moody and Marshall have many years of experience leading nursing peer review committees as incident-based nursing peer review is mandated by the Texas Nursing Practice Act.

For the full agenda and to register for this free webcast, visit

Rock Your Health: Nurse leaders and nurse managers can say no to negativity

At any given time, nurse leaders and nurse managers have a choice: to be negative or to be positive.

Think about it this way. Do you choose to laugh, have fun, and see the bright side of everything? Or do you do the opposite? A positive “can do” attitude is a frame of mind that will serve you well as you go through your day. [more]

Rock Your Health: Nurses can trade in the old for the new

As a nurse manager or nurse leader, are you hanging on to old behaviors that once were useful but now are not?

For example, do you not speak up when you have the opportunity because you think what you have to say is not important, you are not eloquent, or you think you are not good enough.

To overcome this, first write down one old behavior you cling to that isn’t getting you what you want. [more]