Critical Care Newsline — July 24, 2008

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Critical Care Newsline, the electronic newsletter from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, contains information selected just for you by AACN. Every week, our expert clinical practice staff reviews hundreds of journals and Web sites, choosing only the most pertinent information for Critical Care Newsline. In each issue, you’ll find links to resources, research abstracts (individual sites may require registration and a fee to access complete articles) and Web sites on a variety of topics to keep you informed on issues that affect nurses and the nursing profession.


July 24, 2008

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1. Call to Action: Nominate a Colleague for the New York Times Tribute to Nurses; Deadline is Aug. 1, 2008
2. Research: Online Courses Boost Infection Control Skills That Could Prove Vital in a Pandemic (Abstract)
3. Advocacy: AACN Urges U.S. Office of Management and Budget to Include CNSs
4. News: Congress Overrides Presidential Veto, Passes Medicare Bill
5. Resource: New Report Warns Current Policies Will Not Avert Health Workforce Crisis
6. Reminder: Circle of Excellence Awards Deadline Is Aug. 1, 2008
7. Event: AACN Certification Exams Offered at Fall TRENDS Conference
8. Clinical Practice Resources
9. AACN Resources
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1. Call to Action: Nominate a Colleague for the New York Times Tribute to Nurses; Deadline is Aug. 1, 2008
The New York Times honors America's most dedicated and indispensable professionals in its sixth annual Tribute to Nurses. Practice meaningful recognition and nominate a colleague who has had an impact on your life. Four winners — three practicing nurses and one nurse educator — will be chosen from the group of candidates nominated by patients and their families, students, colleagues and medical organizations. Want to know more? Click here .

2. Research: Online Courses Boost Infection Control Skills That Could Prove Vital in a Pandemic (Abstract)
Online courses are helping healthcare staff develop the skills they need to tackle hospital-acquired infections, such as MRSA and C.difficile, and this expertise could also prove vital in a pandemic, according to a study published in the latest issue of the UK-based Journal of Advanced Nursing. Nursing and healthcare staff who took part in a specially developed online infection control course said that it had improved their infection control procedures and the advice they gave to patients, visitors and other staff. A number of them had also recommended changes to their department or hospital, which had been adopted. When they were surveyed before the course, participants gave their competency in this area an average score of 64 percent, which rose by nearly a fifth to just over 77 per cent after they had completed the course.
Eighty-seven percent said that they had found the course useful and relevant to their workplace and had already changed their behavior as a result. Online courses are not intended to replace hands-on practice but are designed to complement existing workplace sessions, the researchers said.

3. Advocacy: AACN Urges U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to Include CNSs
AACN has submitted a formal letter to the OMB advocating inclusion of Clinical Nurse Specialists in the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) coding system. The SOC Policy Committee currently recommends separate classifications for nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists, but fails to recognize clinical nurse specialists. A stalwart advocate for CNSs and the significant value they bring to patient care, AACN demanded that the OMB re-examine the categories of advanced practice nurses in the proposed 2010 SOC listing to include CNSs. OMB will publish its final decision, when it is reached, in the Federal Register.

4. News: Congress Overrides Presidential Veto, Passes Medicare Bill
The House of Representatives and the Senate voted to pass the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (H.R. 6331), despite a Presidential veto. The legislation reverses a 10.6 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursements for the nation’s 240,000 Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) and physicians, which went into effect July 1. AACN worked in coalition with the American Nurses Association and physician partner organizations to get this law passed because it will strengthen the role of APRNs and prevent a reimbursement cut that may have severely limited access to care.

5. Resource: New Report Warns Current Policies Will Not Avert Health Workforce Crisis
A report from the Association of Academic Health Centers, "Out of Order, Out of Time: The State of the Nation's Health Workforce," warns that the nation is facing a health workforce crisis and is running out of time to ensure an adequate health workforce to meet needs resulting from critical socioeconomic challenges for healthcare. The study calls for, and provides, specific recommendations for immediate action to develop an integrated, coordinated national health workforce policy. Download a copy from the following site.

Knowing that having appropriate staffing is of the highest importance to our members, AACN continues to work diligently in coalition with other powerful organizations to effect the change needed to ensure a strong healthcare workforce. As part of the Americans for Nursing Shortage Relief (ANSR) coalition, AACN has advocated for increased funding for nursing education and other programs to develop and retain a diverse and strong nursing workforce. Familiarize yourself with our most recent testimony to the House of Representatives and to the Senate.

AACN has also worked collaboratively with our fellow critical care physician societies to advocate for additional funding and development of programs that will ease current workforce shortages by increasing the supply of physicians, nurses and other professionals in critical care. Read our white paper urging federal legislation .

6. Reminder: Circle of Excellence Awards Deadline Is Aug. 1, 2008
The nominations deadline for the 2009 Circle of Excellence Awards is only a week away. Historically, the awards program has focused on recognizing roles and practice situations. Beginning with the 2009 awards cycle, a single Circle of Excellence Award will replace the specific awards. Up to 25 individuals who exemplify excellence in the care of acutely and critically ill patients and their families will be chosen annually to receive the award. These recipients will become part of the new Circle of Excellence Society. Learn more about the awards, review the criteria and fill out a nomination form by clicking on the following link. Practice meaningful recognition by nominating a worthy colleague.

7. Event: AACN Certification Exams Offered at Fall TRENDS Conference
Paper and pencil administration of the CCRN, PCCN, CCNS and ACNPC specialty certification exams and the CMC (Cardiac Medicine) and CSC (Cardiac Surgery) subspecialty certification exams will be offered on-site at the Fall TRENDS conference in Philadelphia, PA on Oct. 31, 2008. Deadline for TRENDS exam application and fee is Sept. 10, 2008.

Certification validates nurses’ knowledge and skills, demonstrates their commitment to patient safety and gives them the confidence to handle any crisis. If you can’t make it to TRENDS for the paper and pencil exam, you can take an exam at one of our convenient computer based testing centers nationwide. Click here for more information.

8. Clinical Practice Resources

NEW PATIENT SAFETY ISSUES
Electronic Medical Devices- Possible Malfunction Caused By Computed Tomography (CT) Scanning
http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2008/safety08.htm#ElectronicMedical

Micro-bubble Contrast Agents (Definity, Optison): Changes to Boxed Warnings, Warnings and Contraindications
http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2008/safety08.htm#Microbubble

Patient Safety Links:
Joint Commission
http://jcrinc.co.mansellgroup.net/UM/T.asp?A2557.25634.1623.1.63602
Medline Plus
http://jcrinc.co.mansellgroup.net/UM/T.asp?A2557.25634.1623.2.63602
National Patient Safety Foundation
http://jcrinc.co.mansellgroup.net/UM/T.asp?A2557.25634.1623.3.63602

Institute for Safe Medication Practices Newsletter
http://www.ismp.org/Newsletters/nursing/default.asp

AHRQ Patient Safety Network
http://psnet.ahrq.gov

GUIDELINES
The Management of Encephalitis: Clinical Practice Guidelines by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (Free Full Text)
http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/589747

NEW EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE
Epidemiology and Treatment of Painful Procedures in Neonates in Intensive Care Units (Abstract)
http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/300/1/60

Hands-on Defibrillation: an Analysis of Electrical Current Flow Through Rescuers in Direct Contact With Patients During Biphasic External Defibrillation (Abstract)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18458166

Impact of Time of Presentation on the Care and Outcomes of Acute Myocardial Infarction (Abstract)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18427127

Pain Assessment in People with Dementia (Abstract)
http://www.ajnonline.com/pt/re/ajn/abstract.00000446-200807000-00030.htm;jsessionid=LHnZ6NHR0rZGx0SldQGls6y6FYH2TQ378yMPhBq0zhjX7JpMhqTP!523807009!181195628!8091!-1
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