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Good Nursing Is Good Antibiotic Stewardship

Olans, Rita D., DNP, CPNP, APRN-BC; Olans, Richard N., MD, FIDSA; Witt, David J., MD, FIDSA

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: August 2017 - Volume 117 - Issue 8 - p 58–63
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000521974.76835.e0
Feature Articles

Resistance to antibiotics has increased dramatically in the United States, with serious associated medical, social, and economic consequences. The most promising approach to this national crisis is a new understanding of the need for the careful and responsible use of antibiotics, both for the benefit of society and for the optimal care of each patient. This multidisciplinary approach, called antimicrobial stewardship, has typically involved specialists but not necessarily nurses, who perform numerous antibiotic-related activities daily and should be an integral part of antimicrobial stewardship programs. In this article, we use patient examples to review several stewardship activities and illustrate how nurses are essential to the appropriate use of antibiotics.

In light of the dramatic increase in antibiotic resistance in the United States, this article reviews antimicrobial stewardship activities that can be performed by nurses and illustrates how nurses are essential to the appropriate use of antibiotics.

Rita D. Olans is an assistant professor at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston. Richard N. Olans is cochair of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee, Department of Infectious Diseases, Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, Hallmark Health System, Melrose, MA. David J. Witt is chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Rafael, CA, and an associate clinical professor of nursing and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. The authors acknowledge with gratitude Arjun Srinivasan, MD, FSHEA, for his review of the manuscript. Contact author: Rita D. Olans, . The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

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