It's resolution season again. The new year always brings fresh ambition to become our best selves. For many of us, that means watching what we eat more carefully after enjoying too many holiday goodies. But, this year, I plan to skip the latest diet craze for something I believe may have a more lasting impact. My goal is to focus on being present and mindful every day.
Being fully present for and attentive to our family, friends, and colleagues can remind us of what we admire most about our loved ones. Giving our very best effort at work can reignite the spark that first inspired our careers. Imagine how staying sharp can help you positively impact your patients to achieve optimal outcomes.
As part of a daily task, it is easy for evaluating lab results to become routine. Sometimes, a refresher on the diagnostic studies you encounter daily can help open your eyes to detect a serious patient complication or illness. Our newest department, Looking at Labs (p. 40), is designed to do just that. The first installment explores the critical values associated with white blood cell counts, including leukocytosis and leukopenia. Look for this new department as we examine a new lab test each issue.
In many critical illnesses, prompt recognition and diagnosis are pivotal to a patient's prognosis, but warning signs can be easy to miss. For example, patient complaints of uncharacteristically severe wound pain could indicate necrotizing fasciitis (NF). In this issue of Nursing2019 Critical Care, our feature, Necrotizing fasciitis: Infection identification and management (p. 6), provides you with the information you need to quickly spot the early signs of NF, prevent infection progression, and create an effective plan of care.
This issue also includes two important clinical practice guideline updates. The American Heart Association (AHA) published updates to its Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) guidelines in November 2018. Update: 2017/2018 AHA BLS, ACLS, and PALS guidelines (p. 33) highlights the new information you need to deliver the latest evidence-based care to your patients. It also covers AHA's November 2017 update to its Basic Life Support recommendations. Incorporating the 2017 critical care pediatric nutrition support guidelines into clinical practice (p. 13) covers optimal nutrition support recommendations in this vulnerable patient population.
Your increased vigilance can help patients avoid serious consequences. Building the best you in 2019 requires renewed mindfulness that can help you be more tuned in to your patients and provide them with holistic care.
Haley K. McKinney, MBA
Associate Editor Nursing2018 Critical Care Health Learning, Research & Practice Wolters Kluwer Philadelphia, PA