Letters — November 2013

The Next Frontier

Re: Page 10 in August AACN Bold Voices

The most common patient complaint is about alarms from bedside monitors, because we can’t turn off the noise in the patient’s room while leaving the alarm on at the central station. “Do I really need this?” is the second most common complaint.

Whether it’s the routine hourly blood pressure cuff, turning all patients who can’t turn themselves every two hours or “Of course we need to check your temperature at 4 a.m., even though you haven’t had a fever since you’ve been in our unit, and your diagnosis is unlikely to cause a temperature elevation.”

We managed to get away from automatic daily CBC, CMP, ECG and chest x-rays despite deep-seated concerns about missing something and liability for not following the standard of care. I think the risks and benefits of 24/7 assessments vs. sleep are the next frontier to be conquered in critical care.

Denise Haynes
Clinton, Ohio

Safe Use of PCA

Re: Page 11 in October AACN Bold Voices

The AACN Practice Alert on pain assessment did not address two important factors that may prevent adverse events and contribute to patient safety. Equipment for patient controlled analgesia (PCA) and education of nurses in its use cannot be overlooked or underestimated.

PCA pumps need to be user friendly. The easier to use and the clearer the programming, the safer the pumps will be. Nurses who will be responsible for the pumps must be properly educated in their use.

Unfortunately, the drive to control healthcare costs has interfered. There is a lot of talk about safety, but committing to and investing in education for nurses will go a long way toward ensuring safer patient care.

Susan Dobies
Loomis, Calif.


Re: Cover photo for September AACN Bold Voices

As a critical care nurse with 42 years’ experience, I noticed some no-no’s in September’s cover photo. Goggles should be used when intubating a patient, and those in the photo should be wearing masks or masks with plastic eye guards.

I believe most state health departments require hair to be worn up and above the collar. And shouldn’t an identification badge be visible and above the waist?

All in all, I really enjoy the articles in AACN Bold Voices and find them interesting and useful.

Cheryl Davia
Brandy Station,Va.

We’re glad you enjoy AACN Bold Voices and find the articles useful. Thank you for calling out some details in September’s cover photo. We appreciate the time you took to let us know and will be even more careful with our review process. — Ed.

Step Forward Beyond Nursing

As a past AACN board member, I was especially proud to read an email from my hospital’s pharmacy director to his team. It exemplifies how AACN’s annual theme can have an impact beyond nurses.

He wrote, “I was invited to an educational program sponsored by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and this ‘Step Forward’ logo and quote was part of the invitation. Upon reading it, I felt compelled to pass it on to you.

It is how we need to step forward as individuals and ultimately as a team to support our hospital’s merger and our future. We will discuss this at our staff meeting and how it also correlates to moving forward with our new practice model.”

Karen Stutzer
Pompton Plains, N.J.

AACN Bold Voices encourages your letters for possible print and/or online publication. Please be concise. Letters may be edited before publication.

Include your name, credentials, city, state and email address (for verification).

Write to aacnboldvoices@aacn.org.

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