Critical Care Newsline — March 18, 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.

March 18, 2010

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1. NEWS Health Care Reform vote imminent
2. NEWS View recent “Assessing the Health of Your Environment” webinar
3. NEWS CDC urges mumps vaccine for Hasidic Jews
4. NEWS Nurses should influence healthcare reform finds RWJF opinion leader survey
5. EVIDENCE Study reviews impact of pre-surgical thoracic epidural analgesia on outcomes
6. EVIDENCE Prophylactic topical antibiotics prevent corneal infection in sedated patients
7. NEWS 2010 World Day for Safety and Health at Work photo contest
8. NEWS Web site promotes March DVT Awareness
9. CLINICAL PRACTICE RESOURCES
10. AACN RESOURCES NTI Certification exam deadline is April 7

1. NEWS Health Care Reform vote imminent
A congressional vote on the health care reform bill is anticipated by this weekend. Express your bold voice on this important issue. Establish or strengthen relationships with your elected national legislators and their health policy staff. Contact their local and national offices to advocate your position and express thanks or disappointment about theirs. AACN’s online Legislative Action Center offers the complete congressional directory so you can identify your federal legislators, templates to help you send personalized correspondence, House and Senate schedules, key bill status and AACN legislative alerts.

2. NEWS View recent “Assessing the Health of Your Environment” webinar
Access a recording of last week’s 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.

3. NEWS CDC urges mumps vaccine for Hasidic Jews
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, and state health departments urge Hasidic Jews and those in close contact with this community to receive Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccines before Passover, March 30 to April 5. The CDC notes the possibility of mumps spreading in New York and New Jersey as well as nationally and internationally. Read the mumps alert for Hasidic Jews on the CDC Web site.

4. NEWS Nurses should influence healthcare reform finds RWJF opinion leader survey
A Gallup survey of 1,504 opinion leaders conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds the overwhelming majority believe nurses should have more influence on healthcare. Significant barriers prevent this according to “Nursing Leadership from Bedside to Boardroom: Opinion Leaders’ Perceptions.” Opinion leaders in diverse industries say nurses aren’t perceived as important decision makers or revenue generators compared to doctors and lack a single voice on national issues.

5. EVIDENCE Study reviews impact of pre-surgical thoracic epidural analgesia on outcomes
Preoperative compared to postoperative thoracic epidural analgesia (TEA) statistically reduced postoperative pain and preserved pulmonary function among thoracotomy patients states February’s The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. “Effect of Preincisional Epidural Fentanyl and Bupivacaine on Postthoracotomy Pain and Pulmonary Function” examined 40 posterolateral thoracotomy patients who received a TEA before or after surgery. Patients who received a preoperative epidural analgesia experienced a significant reduction in pain score at rest and with cough; significant reduction in epidural fentanyl consumption; and improved pulmonary function.

6. EVIDENCE Prophylactic topical antibiotics prevent corneal infection in sedated patients
Early identification of ocular surface bacterial colonization and administration of topical antibiotics for prophylaxis can prevent corneal infection in sedated ICU patients who receive mechanical ventilation, states January’s Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. The 12-month study, “Ocular surface bacterial colonisation in sedated intensive care unit patients,” found the ocular surface of long-term sedated patients to be colonized by various bacterial species and their isolation to be closely related to time of sedation, the abstract states.

7. NEWS 2010 World Day for Safety and Health at Work photo contest
In honor of “2010 World Day for Safety and Health at Work,” April 28, the Pan American Health Organization, Regional Office of the World Health Organization, Washington, D.C., invites photo submissions of your safe and healthy workplace. The event promotes action in four key areas: physical work environment, psychosocial work environment, access to occupational health services and health promotion, and enterprise community involvement. Deadline is March 31.

8. NEWS Web site promotes March DVT Awareness
Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month strives to improve patient safety for a condition that affects 2 million Americans each year. Learn how to reduce the risk of DVT.

9. CLINICAL PRACTICE RESOURCES

Patient Safety
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Silver Spring, Md., reports Thomas Medical Products, Malvern, Pa., initiated a voluntary recall of Transseptal Sheath Introducer Kits, because sheath tips may break off and block blood vessels. Read the March 5 announcement.

The FDA reports a recall for the AB5000 Circulatory Support System, manufactured by Abiomed, Inc., Danvers, Mass., because the system may stop pumping without triggering an alarm. Read the announcement, issued March 10.

10. 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 and End-of-Life Care” allows nurses to apply theory-based practice without the risk of harm to patients or families.

Certification
AACN will offer all certification exams at the 2010 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, Washington, D.C., on Monday, May 17. Nurses must preregister for the exam using a special NTI application. AACN must receive exam fee payment and a completed NTI exam application postmarked no later than Wednesday, April 7.

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.

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