Critical Care Newsline — June 24, 2010

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 websites that will keep you informed on issues affecting nurses and the nursing profession.

June 24, 2010

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1. NEWS President Obama addresses ANA House of Delegates
2. EVIDENCE Probiotic prevents VAP in high-risk ICU patients
3. NEWS Center to Advance Palliative Care launches ICU initiative
4. NEWS AACN’s new Beacon Award for Excellence applications open Nov. 1
5. EVIDENCE Terminal care creates struggles for ICU nurses, a study finds
6. CALL TO ACTION Share your thoughts about AACN’s quest for excellence
7. CALL TO ACTION Tell your nursing story in photos
8. CLINICAL PRACTICE RESOURCES
9. AACN RESOURCES Updated CNS scope and standards

1. NEWS President Obama addresses ANA House of Delegates
On June 16, President Barack Obama spoke at the American Nurses Association’s (ANA’s) House of Delegates meeting in Washington, D.C., about how the Affordable Care Act will help expand the primary care workforce and improve healthcare. President Obama recounted how nurses helped his family care for older daughter Malia during her birth and younger daughter Sasha recover from meningitis. He concluded, “… through long shifts and late nights — in the hectic scrum of the emergency room, or in those quiet acts of humanity — you are saving lives, you are offering solace, you’re helping to make us a better nation.” AACN is one of 25 organizational affiliates of the ANA. Watch the video.

2. EVIDENCE Probiotic prevents VAP in high-risk ICU patients
Probiotic Prophylaxis of Ventilator-associated Pneumonia: A Blinded, Randomized, Controlled Trial,” published June 3 online by the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, reports Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, a probiotic given enterally, to be “safe and efficacious in preventing VAP in a select, high-risk ICU population.” Compared to those who received a placebo, the probiotic group experienced fewer days of antibiotics and lower incidence of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea.

3. NEWS Center to Advance Palliative Care launches ICU initiative
On June 16, the Center to Advance Palliative Care announced the launch of a major initiative to improve palliative ICU care. Supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md., the Improve Palliative Care in the ICU Project provides tools and resources to help providers deliver excellent palliative care for ICU patients and their families.

4. NEWS AACN’s new Beacon Award for Excellence applications open Nov. 1
Starting Nov. 1, any hospital unit that cares for high acuity or critically ill patients can apply for an AACN Beacon Award for Excellence. The revised program aligns more closely with award programs such as the Malcolm Baldrige Award for Quality and the Magnet Recognition Program, making it easier for hospitals applying for multiple recognition programs to meet requirements for nursing-sensitive patient benchmark data. In addition, the new Beacon program includes a streamlined review process that offers timely feedback and recommendations for every application, and bronze-, silver- and gold-level designations to help units track their progress over time.

5. EVIDENCE Terminal care creates struggles for ICU nurses, a study finds
A phenomenological research study in the July/September Critical Care Nursing Quarterly identifies the three themes for ICU nurses’ experiences with end-of-life care as 1) barriers to optimal care, 2) internal conflict and 3) coping. “Providing terminal care creates significant personal and professional struggles among ICU nurses,” states “ICU Nurses’ Experiences in Providing Terminal Care.”

6. CALL TO ACTION Share your thoughts about AACN’s quest for excellence
This year’s Annual Membership Forum at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition joined audience members and AACN board members in focused discussions to explore three questions: 1) What is the most innovative practice you’ve seen recently? 2) What can we, the AACN community, do to spread the word about these best practices to let other nurses know about them? 3) As a nurse, what gives you the greatest cause for optimism in the current environment? Respond to these questions at info@aacn.org or at NTI Voices Online.

7. CALL TO ACTION Tell your nursing story in photos
Submit your original photos portraying 21st century nursing to the Center to Champion Nursing in America, Washington, D.C., and contribute to a photo repository of nurses across various roles and settings. The winning photograph will appear in a print or Web publication published by AARP, Washington, D.C. The submission deadline is June 25.

8. CLINICAL PRACTICE RESOURCES
Patient Safety
On June 15, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Silver Spring, Md., announced that certain liquid Vitamin D supplements packaged with droppers could allow parents and healthcare providers to accidentally give more than the recommended dose of 400 IU daily. The FDA recommends using a product with a dropper that allows no more than a 400-IU dose.

Evidence
A study of 801 patients, 310 of their families and 885 nurses in June’s Journal of Pain and Symptom Management supports the construct validity of the Quality of End-of-Life Care questionnaire. The methodology for “Measuring the Quality of End-of-Life Care” provides a “model for development and validation of patient- and family-centered assessments of quality of care.”

According to “Complex, Chronic, and End-of-Life Care: The Interface Between Critical Care and Palliative Care” in the July/September Critical Care Nursing Quarterly, “adding time to care may help to decrease critical care costs and mortality … palliative programs are emerging to provide coverage across the continuum.”

9. AACN RESOURCES
Updated CNS scope and standards
Visit the AACN Online Bookstore to buy the updated “AACN Scope and Standards of Acute and Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice.” It includes standards of practice for care and professional performance, competency criteria and suggestions for implementing the standards in the acute and critical care environment.

E-Learning
Did you know you can purchase three of our high-quality Web-based course for your personal development? “The Preceptor Challenge” and the award-winning “Promoting Excellence in Palliative and End-of-Life Care” feature simulations of real-life experiences. If you’re a new manager or just want to expand your management competencies, the “Essentials of Nurse Manager Orientation” course is also available for individual purchase. Find more information and pricing.

Healthy Work Environment
Access AACN’s Healthy Work Environment tools.

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