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12-lead ECGs part II: Identifying common abnormalities

Goldich, Guy

Nursing. 44(9):30-36, September 2014.

Nurses who can independently interpret a 12-lead ECG can anticipate and prepare for emergency care their patients may need. Review this practical guide to recognizing abnormal ECGs, which builds on last month's article about assessing normal findings.

I.V. fluids What nurses need to know

Crawford, Ann; Harris, Helene

Nursing. 41(5):30-38, May 2011.

Refresh your knowledge about I.V. fluids, including how they act in the body and which ones to use (or avoid) in common clinical situations. This is the first in a series of articles on fluid and electrolyte balance.

Preventing in-patient falls: The nurse's pivotal role

Chu, Ruby Z.

Nursing. 47(3):24-30, March 2017.

Preventing falls requires a multidisciplinary approach to create a safe patient environment, including a fall prevention program and education for nurses. This article discusses practical, evidence-based interventions that nurses can implement to keep their patients safe.

Recognizing subtle signs and symptoms of pediatric cancer

Barbel, Paula; Peterson, Kathleen

Nursing. 45(4):30-37, April 2015.

Even though cancer is rare in children and adolescents, it's the leading cause of disease-related deaths among Americans ages 1 to 19. Refresh your knowledge of the elusive signs and symptoms of cancer because early diagnosis and treatment can save young lives.

Wound Care 101

Cox, Jill

Nursing. 49(10):32-39, October 2019.

The clinical nurse may be the first caregiver to assess changes in a patient's skin and initiate wound care. This article provides practical guidelines that any nurse can implement to support wound healing and improve patient care.

Advancing the profession: The clinical nurse educator

Brennan, Jean; Olson, Evelyn Louise

Nursing. 48(10):53-54, October 2018.

Emphasizing required skills, knowledge, and education, this article describes the role of clinical nurse educators (CNEs) and the best practices CNEs can use to optimize education for nurses.

Top 10 tips for coping with short staffing

Laskowski-Jones, Linda; Toulson, Karen

Nursing. 37:9, Fall 2007.

Everyone faces short staffing from time to time. Here are some practical tips to help you cope.

Code blue: Do you know what to do?

Jackson, Janet E.; Grugan, Amy S.

Nursing. 45(5):34-39, May 2015.

Although nurses in hospitals are required to have basic life support training, they may have few opportunities to practice these skills before needing to perform them in a crisis. Make sure your skills are current by reviewing appropriate actions and interventions nurses and other clinicians must perform during a code blue.

Reminiscence therapy: Finding meaning in memories

Klever, Sandy

Nursing. 43(4):36-37, April 2013.

When approaching death, many people want to put their lives in perspective. By encouraging patients to talk about their past, you can improve their self-esteem and help them achieve a sense of fulfillment.

Epidural analgesia: What nurses need to know

Sawhney, Mona

Nursing. 42(8):36-41, August 2012.

Refresh your knowledge of epidural analgesia and review current standards of care. This comprehensive overview covers safely administering epidural analgesia to manage certain types of acute and chronic pain, achieving optimal pain control, and identifying and managing adverse reactions or complications.

The legalities of nursing documentation

Campos, Nikki K.

Nursing. :7-9, January 2010.

To meet the expectations of the public, nurses must fully understand the duties associated with their position as set forth by not only governing bodies, but also the institutional policies and procedures affecting their practice. One particular duty that deserves significant emphasis is the requirement of complete and accurate documentation related to patient care, which includes what's done to and for the patient and how particular decisions about care are made.

Motivational interviewing: A journey to improve health

Droppa, Mandy; Lee, Heeyoung

Nursing. 44(3):40-45, March 2014.

Apply the motivational interviewing principles and communication skills discussed here to elicit patients' personal reasons for changing unhealthy behaviors, then reinforce their healthier choices.

Stay out of court with proper documentation

Austin, Sally

Nursing. 41(4):24-29, April 2011.

Besides undermining patient safety, inaccurate or incomplete documentation can land you in court if you're ever charged with nursing negligence. Avoid legal problems by always following these practical, best-practice guidelines.

20 questions: Evidence-based practice or sacred cow?

Miller, Julie; Hayes, Denise Drummond; Carey, Katherine W.

Nursing. 45(8):46-55, August 2015.

Despite dramatic advances in healthcare research, many nurses continue to promote outdated nursing practices. Grounded in tradition rather than science, these “sacred cows” are ineffective, unnecessary, and sometimes dangerous. Read the results of a nationwide survey designed to test nurses' knowledge and beliefs about outdated nursing practices, then update your practice based on the best evidence available.

Assessing mental health in vulnerable adolescents

Farley, Holly R.

Nursing. 50(10):48-53, October 2020.

In recent years, a dramatic shift in risks and behaviors threatens adolescents' mental well-being more than ever before. This article explores how nurses in any practice setting can identify adolescents at risk for mental health issues and intervene effectively.

Chest X-ray interpretation: Not just black and white

Pezzotti, William

Nursing. 44(1):40-47, January 2014.

Is your patient's chest X-ray unremarkable, or does it show a life-threatening abnormality? Use this article to gain a basic understanding of chest X-ray interpretation to sharpen your assessment skills, promote patient safety, and optimize care.

Caring for adults with impaired physical mobility

Crawford, Ann; Harris, Helene

Nursing. 46(12):36-41, December 2016.

Immobility and its complications can cause physical disability and emotional suffering. With appropriate assessment skills, early mobilization efforts, and proper prevention strategies, nurses can help patients avoid complications and optimize their quality of life.

12-lead ECGs, part I: Recognizing normal findings

Goldich, Guy

Nursing. 44(8):28-34, August 2014.

Nurses who can independently interpret a 12-lead ECG can anticipate and prepare for emergency care their patients may need. Review the practical guide to normal ECGs presented here. Next month: Interpreting abnormal ECGs.

Cannabis dabbing: An emerging trend

Mullins, Mary Frances

Nursing. 51(5):46-50, May 2021.

Cannabis dabbing is the recreational use of extremely concentrated tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychotropic cannabinoid derived from the marijuana plant. In this article, the author details the significant health and legal risks associated with dabbing and discusses how nurses can educate patients.

Recognizing normal pressure hydrocephalus in older adults

Smith, Carolyn E.

Nursing. 47(9):26-31, September 2017.

A telltale triad of clues—gait disturbance, cognitive impairment, and urinary incontinence—differentiates normal pressure hydrocephalus from other neurologic diseases affecting older adults. With early detection and treatment, dementia and other complications can be reversed in many patients.

Elder abuse: Screening, intervention, and prevention

Stark, Sharon

Nursing. 42(10):24-29, October 2012.

Signs and symptoms of elder abuse are often mistaken for those of normal aging or declining health. This article details how to assess for abuse and discusses what nurses should do if they know or suspect an older adult is a victim.

Bringing home effective nursing care for the homeless

Gerber, Lois

Nursing. 43(3):32-38, March 2013.

Despite the obvious challenges, nurses can make a difference in the lives of these vulnerable patients. With a deeper understanding of their problems, nurses can provide support, offer resources, and perform other meaningful interventions.

Rapid response teams: What's the latest?

Jackson, Shirley A.

Nursing. 47(12):34-41, December 2017.

For nearly 25 years, rapid response teams (RRTs) have been assessing and managing patients who experience acute clinical deterioration. Update your knowledge about nurses' vital role in the team, a new role for families activating an RRT, and end-of-life concerns.

Focus on central venous pressure monitoring in an acute care setting

Burchell, Patricia L.; Powers, Kelly A.

Nursing. 41(12):38-43, December 2011.

CVP monitoring has become the standard of care for many patients in acute care settings. Refresh and update your knowledge of CVP monitoring, including recommended catheter insertion sites, best practices for patient care, and troubleshooting equipment problems.

Anorexia nervosa in adolescents: An overview

Peterson, Kathleen; Fuller, Rebecca

Nursing. 49(10):24-30, October 2019.

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is an eating disorder that is difficult to treat, and relapse is common. Here, explore management strategies and nursing interventions for adolescents diagnosed with AN.

Head-to-toe: Organizing your baseline patient physical assessment

Haugh, Kathy Henley

Nursing. 45(12):58-61, December 2015.

Follow this generic framework to complete a baseline head-to-toe physical assessment in the first hour of your shift—and do it effectively and efficiently.

Skin tears: Best practices for care and prevention

LeBlanc, Kimberly; Baranoski, Sharon

Nursing. 44(5):36-46, May 2014.

Until recently, skin tears have received scant attention, even though they may be more prevalent than pressure ulcers. Now's the time to update your knowledge about assessing, treating, and preventing these painful and often debilitating wounds according to new standards and recommendations issued by the International Skin Tear Advisory Panel.

Understanding parkinsonisms

Rank, Wendi

Nursing. 51(9):22-27, September 2021.

Parkinsonism describes a group of neurologic disorders associated with signs and symptoms similar to Parkinson disease. This article focuses on four types of parkinsonism: Lewy body dementia, multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy, and corticobasal degeneration.

Call to action: How to implement evidence-based nursing practice

Mick, JoAnn

Nursing. 47(4):36-43, April 2017.

Implementing evidence-based nursing practice supports nurses in practicing to the full extent of their education and licensure. To ensure high-quality patient care, follow this practical guide to integrate your clinical skill and experience with the best available clinical research evidence.

Benefits of mindful self-compassion for frontline nurses

Biber, Duke D.

Nursing. 52(5):34-37, May 2022.

The article explores the benefits and strategies of practicing mindful self-compassion (MSC) for nurses, reviews the effectiveness of an MSC curriculum, and discusses practical techniques for nurses to put MSC theory into practice.

Hemorrhoidal disease: What nurses need to know

Pullen, Richard L. Jr.

Nursing. 52(5):19-24, May 2022.

This article discusses the signs, symptoms, risk factors, classification, treatment, and nursing interventions for patients with hemorrhoidal disease.

Clara Barton: Angel of the battlefield

Strickler, Jeff

Nursing. 48(3):43-45, March 2018.

In the second installment of a new series, learn about Clara Barton's inspiring contributions to nursing during the Civil War and her role as the founder of the American Red Cross.

Case management: An overview for nurses

Armold, Sarah

Nursing. 49(9):43-45, September 2019.

Case management offers an exciting opportunity for nurses as they decide how best to serve their patients. This article discusses the role of case managers in the healthcare setting.

Managing hypocalcemia in massive blood transfusion

Lim, Fidelindo; Chen, Leon L.; Borski, Daniel

Nursing. 47(5):26-32, May 2017.

Hypocalcemia, one of the most dangerous complications associated with massive blood transfusion, can lead to potentially fatal neurologic and cardiovascular dysfunction. The focus of this article is on the nurse's role in caring for patients who develop hypocalcemia related to massive blood transfusion.

Managing panhypopituitarism in adults

Mitchell-Brown, Fay; Stephens-DiLeo, Rose

Nursing. 47(12):26-31, December 2017.

Known as the “master gland,” the pituitary controls or influences multiple body functions. Panhypopituitarism, which involves deficiencies in all anterior pituitary gland hormones, leads to multiple signs and symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Teach patients the importance of replacing deficient hormones to reduce the risk of infection, hospitalization, and even death.

Increasing cultural competence with LGBTQ patients

Margolies, Liz; Brown, Carlton G.

Nursing. 49(6):34-40, June 2019.

Many nurses lack basic education about LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) patient care. Review this article for insights and strategies that can help nurses recognize health disparities affecting LGBTQ patients, encourage patients to disclose sexual orientation and gender identity to healthcare professionals, and work with LGBTQ patients to improve outcomes.

Asthma management updates

Galante, Christine M.

Nursing. 52(2):25-34, February 2022.

This article discusses recent updates on the clinical management of asthma and outlines ways for nurses to engage patients in the management of their disease.

Protecting yourself from PPE skin injuries

Stiger, Ivan

Nursing. 52(5):45-47, May 2022.

This article identifies dermatologic issues of extended use of personal protective equipment, explores the risks of injury, and offers prevention strategies.

Medicinal leech therapy: New life for an ancient treatment

Lui, Celina; Barkley, Thomas W. Jr.

Nursing. 45(11):25-30, November 2015.

Commercial leeches are FDA-approved as devices to treat venous congestion following skin grafting and reattachment surgery. Review the risks and benefits of this therapy to make sure your practice is up to date.

Ventriculoperitoneal shunts: What nurses need to know

Vacca, Vincent M. Jr.

Nursing. 48(12):20-26, December 2018.

This article discusses the indications for ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement in adults, possible complications, and nursing care for patients following a shunt placement procedure.

Determining the level of evidence: Experimental research appraisal

Glasofer, Amy; Townsend, Ann B.

Nursing. 51(1):60-63, January 2021.

In the first of a three-part series, the authors provide guidelines for appraising research evidence based on quality, quantity, and consistency.

Improving health literacy in patients with diabetes

Watts, Sharon A.; Stevenson, Carl; Adams, Margaret

Nursing. 47(1):24-31, January 2017.

Health literacy means how well someone can obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information to make appropriate health decisions. It's a stronger predictor of health status than income or education level. Brush up on how to assess and improve health literacy to help patients with diabetes stay healthy.

How oral medications affect wound healing

Levine, Jeffrey M.

Nursing. 48(3):34-40, March 2018.

Although surprisingly few oral medications have been shown to directly aid healing, some have potential benefits that are under investigation. This article describes oral drugs that may help build new tissue and speed wound healing as well as medications that can impair healing.

Limiting the damage from Acute kidney injury

Ali, Becky; Gray-Vickrey, Peg

Nursing. 41(3):22-31, March 2011.

Your role in early detection and management of AKI is vital, especially for older adults. Learn the pathophysiology of this complex condition and help patients regain optimal functioning.