Critical Care Newsline — April 15, 2010

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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 our clinical practice experts. 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 that will keep you informed on issues affecting nurses and the nursing profession.

April 15, 2010

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1. CALL TO ACTION AACN 2010 election, vote today
2. CALL TO ACTION Advance directives, National Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16
3. NEWS AACN thanks its volunteer community
4. EVIDENCE Women have more pain than men after CABG surgery
5. EVIDENCE Better sedation practices reduce costs and mortality, study says
6. CALL TO ACTION Comment on The Joint Commission’s proposed safety goal
7. CLINICAL PRACTICE RESOURCES
8. AACN RESOURCES E-Learning courses

1. CALL TO ACTION AACN 2010 election, vote today
The AACN 2010 election is under way. Select leaders for AACN who best represent your interests and vision for the future of acute and critical care nursing. Your single act of voting strengthens our community and is an invaluable contribution to our profession. Voting closes April 26 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. Cast your vote now.

2. CALL TO ACTION Advance directives, National Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16
On April 16, in honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), join Americans across the country in talking to others about future healthcare decisions and completing your advance directive. NHDD is a collaboration of national, state and community organizations committed to ensuring adults have the information and opportunity to communicate and document healthcare decisions. “All adults can benefit from thinking about what their healthcare choices would be if they are unable to speak for themselves,” states the NHDD Web site. “These decisions can be written down in an advance directive.”

3. NEWS AACN thanks its volunteer community
National Volunteer Recognition Week, April 18-24, celebrates people taking action. Thank you for sharing your time and talent to help the AACN community. Your contributions improve care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families.

4. EVIDENCE Women experience more pain than men after CABG surgery
Women experience more moderate-to-severe pain with movement than men nine weeks after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, according to May/June’s Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. More women than men reported pain interfered with walking and sleeping, states the abstract for “Pain Experiences of Men and Women After Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery,” which calls for more research on gender differences related to pain after CABG.

5. EVIDENCE Better sedation practices reduce costs and mortality, study says
Improvements in sedation practices, such as the introduction of guidelines and protocols or daily interruption of sedation, reduce mortality, nosocomial infections, duration of mechanical ventilation, length of stay and cost, according to “A systematic review of the impact of sedation practice in the ICU on resource use, costs and patient safety,” published online, April 9, by Critical Care. “Sedation practice is likely to strongly influence health care costs and improving sedation practice may not only benefit patients but also reduce such costs,” concludes the review of 21 reports.

6. CALL TO ACTION Comment on The Joint Commission’s proposed safety goal
The Joint Commission, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., requests comments on proposed revisions to the Medication Reconciliation National Patient Safety Goal, which highlights specific risk points that are critical and readily achievable. To read more, click here.

7. CLINICAL PRACTICE RESOURCES
Evidence
A review in the Aug. 15, 2009 American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy provides a resource about medication interactions with continuous enteral nutrition. “Recommendations for the use of medications with continuous enteral nutrition” states that, of 46 medications evaluated, 24 “had recommendations based on available data, and the remaining 22 medications had recommendations based on a consensus of clinicians.” The abstract also states, “There was a lack of published data regarding drug-nutrient interactions for a majority of the drugs commonly administered to patients receiving continuous enteral nutrition.”

Guidelines Just released from National Guideline Clearinghouse
Access a summary of the guidelines “Enteral access devices: selection, insertion, and maintenance considerations,” published in the March/April 2009 Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition by A.S.P.E.N. (American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition), Silver Spring, Md. The guidelines provide an authoritative resource for answering common questions such as how to verify placement and when to start feedings.

Resources
Access “Health Literacy for Public Health Professionals,” a free Web-based program from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta.

8. AACN RESOURCES
E-Learning
AACN now offers individual nurses access to two of its most popular Web-based courses, “The Preceptor Challenge” and double-award-winning “Promoting Excellence in Palliative & End-of-Life Care.” Nurses may purchase six-month access to “The Preceptor Challenge” for $100 and “Promoting Excellence in Palliative & End-of-Life Care” for $50 at the AACN LearnCenter. “The Preceptor Challenge,” a three-module course, uses virtual tools to enable nurses to identify best practices. The groundbreaking “Promoting Excellence in Palliative & End-of-Life Care” allows nurses to apply theory-based practice without the risk of harm to patients or families.

Healthy Work Environment
Access the new AACN Healthy Work Environment Assessment, a free Web-based tool to help nurse managers and leaders align hospital unit performance with the AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments (HWEs). The online tool — developed with VitalSmarts, a provider of corporate training and organizational performance products and services in Provo, Utah — aligns the performance of any clinical environment, from single hospital units to entire healthcare organizations, with the six HWE standards. They include skilled communication, true collaboration, effective decision-making, appropriate staffing, meaningful recognition and authentic leadership.

Access a recording of the live webinar “Assessing the Health of Your Work Environment.” Available on the AACN Web site, the webinar — a joint venture between AACN and VitalSmarts, Provo, Utah — promises to be of particular interest to users of the new AACN Healthy Work Environment Assessment, a Web-based tool that aligns any clinical environment with the six HWE Standards. NOTE: Video portion of recording loads slowly.

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