More than one year into the pandemic, we are benefiting from the global engagement in research that informs our understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variants, transmission and infection, the variety of symptoms and disease progression, as well as prevention and treatment options. So much knowledge gained – and shared – in the course of a year.
As a nurse and clinical nurse specialist with many years of hospital practice, I have a constant interest in learning about the latest developments in treatment. The best source I’ve found is the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Treatment Guidelines. These guidelines, which are evidence-based and continually updated, are the work of a multidisciplinary panel of experts that includes John J. Gallagher, DNP, RN. John is a professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and CNS/advisor, the Trauma Center at Penn, and represents AACN with this work. He is also a member of the AACN board of directors.
The NIH Site
I won’t describe the current elements of treatment. It’s better to use the NIH site, so you always have the latest evidence-based information. On the homepage you’ll see a What’s New section, which lists the most recent information since your last visit. For each element, there is a clear statement of what the panel recommends, or recommends against, and a focused review of the relevant research findings that are the basis for that recommendation. The patient population that the recommendation applies to is addressed, including severity of illness and any pediatric criteria.
Other section headers help you quickly access the population or type of therapy you’re interested in. For Critical Care, the recommendations are summarized under topics such as infection control, hemodynamics, oxygenation and ventilation, acute kidney injury and renal replacement therapy, and pharmacologic interventions.
Another helpful resource that is being continually updated is AACN’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources page. Whether you are interested in patient management, nursing care, leadership processes, or looking for information to support your personal needs and resilience, or to decide if you want to get vaccinated, you’ll find many resources. The variety of formats for this content include:
- A webinar titled “Healthy Work Environments in a Crisis”
- A journal article on training more critical care nurses
- A nurse story titled “Successful Staffing Starts With Culture”
- Blogs that range from managing a trauma patient with COVID-19 to setting up a proning program and one titled “COVID-19 Vaccine Myth Busters”
Our goal is to help you find the information you need to provide optimal care for your patients and their families, your nurses and yourself.
What information have you found lately that helped shape your care