Ongoing Article Series Helps Nurses Write for Publication

Do you have an idea, experience, or knowledge that you feel other nurses can benefit from? Most nurses outside of academia or the policy arena don’t think about writing for publication as something that they should or must do.

But in AJN’s ongoing four-part series, “Writing for Publication: Step By Step,” author Karen Roush, PhD, RN, FNP, highlights the need to make nurses’ voices heard:

Think about all you know and all you do as a nurse. Think about the clinical expertise you bring to your practice, the insights you’ve gained through experience. Think about the problems you solve, improving patient care or creating systems that run more effectively and efficiently. And think about the times you’ve been present at life-defining moments, at moments of suffering and renewal, at beginnings and endings. You carry all of this with you—knowledge and skills, wisdom and insight. It’s time to share it.

In the series, Roush, former clinical managing editor of AJN and an assistant professor at both Lehman College, Bronx, New York, and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, shares her experience and inside knowledge in writing and publishing in practical, easy-to-digest articles that take nurses through the writing process, from start to […]

2017-04-24T09:53:25+00:00 April 24th, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments

Earth Day 2017: An Important Role for Nurses

By Barbara Polivka, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and Shirley B. Powers Endowed Chair in Nursing Research, University of Louisville, Kentucky

“… the symptoms or the sufferings generally considered to be inevitable and incident to the disease are very often not symptoms of the disease at all, but of something quite different—of the want of fresh air, or of light, or of warmth, or of quiet, or of cleanliness…”  -Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing: What it is and What it is Not (1859).

 

crocus shoots, early spring / Wikimedia Commons

As we celebrate the 46th Earth Day, it’s good to look back.

  • Earth Day was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in on April 22nd, 1970.
  • The first Earth Day celebration helped spur the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act.
  • Earth Day became an international celebration in 1971 when the UN Secretary General talked about it at a Peace Bell Ceremony in New York City.

A time to think about how we affect the environment and are affected by the environment.

Health Care Without Harm (https://noharm.org/) is an international organization promoting environmental health and justice. If you aren’t familiar with Health Care Without Harm I urge you to go to their website to see how health care organizations are decreasing their environmental impact. Health care facilities are:

2017-04-21T08:26:16+00:00 April 21st, 2017|environmental health, Nursing, Public health|0 Comments

Nurses vs. Computers: Predicting Risk of Patient Harm

Not All Signs of Potential Harm Are Quantifiable

From chego101, via Flickr

Hospital nurses have many, many responsibilities and tasks, but one of the most important is to ensure patient safety by assessing patients for changes that can signal worsening of a condition or a new potential harm. Creating special units like ICUs, recovery rooms, and step-down units; flags on charts; various alarmed monitors; and safety huddles are a few of the ways hospitals have tried to identify potential problems. Now we have computerized tools to do this—or do we?

The complaint I have heard most from nurses about the electronic health record (EHR) is its inability to capture all the nuances of patient care or various patient problems, especially those that don’t involve easily quantifiable measures like heart rate or lab values. (For more detail, read our November 2016 report on nurses’ concerns with EHRs.)

One cannot accurately use a check mark to convey certain patient behavioral parameters or the “can’t put my finger on it but something’s going on with this patient” assessment that experienced nurses often make. In the April issue of AJN, we published an important study that investigates just this issue: “Identifying Hospitalized Patients at Risk for Harm: A Comparison of Nurse Perceptions vs. Electronic Risk Assessment Tool Scores

Deciding Whether to Implement an Electronic Risk Tool

Researchers […]

Identifying and Addressing the Profound Mental Health Effects of Climate Change

Residents amid homes consumed by flood and fire, White Sulphur Springs, WV, June 2016. Photo © AP Photo / Steve Helber.

A new word for an era of increasing environmental instability.

A lot of attention is currently paid to the physical impacts of climate change, including extreme heat events, droughts, extreme storms, and rising sea levels. Far less attention has been paid to the psychological impacts of this change. For example, you may not be familiar with the term “solastalgia.” It’s related to the older word “nostalgia,” but was created to reflect the environmental and often related sociopolitical uncertainty of our current times—that is, of change that’s slow and incremental, and often even denied, and then sometimes rapid and catastrophic and impossible to ignore.

The term is explained in more detail in an April feature article in AJN, “Climate Change and Mental Health,” by Janna Trombley, Stephanie Chalupka, and Laura Anderko:

Solastalgia is a term coined a decade ago by philosopher Glenn Albrecht . . . It refers to the psychological distress resulting from degradation of one’s home environment.49 Solastalgia can occur as a result of events that impact climate change, including drought, wildfires, and natural disasters.49, 50 When […]

A National Standard to Prevent Health Care Workplace Violence?

National Nurses United joined members of Congress to speak out at a press conference unveiling findings from the Government Accountability Office’s 2016 report on workplace violence prevention in health care. Photo courtesy of National Nurses United.

In 2014, health care and social assistance workers suffered injuries from workplace violence at a rate more than four times higher than that of private sector employees. What can be done to keep health care workers safe on the job?

As we report in an April news article, National Nurses United, AFL–CIO, and other unions have petitioned the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to create a federal standard for preventing health care workplace violence. OSHA issued a request in December for information on the subject, and held a public hearing in January in which health care workers spoke about their experiences of workplace violence and their ideas for improving safety and protection policies. Through early April, the agency collected comments from the public on a federal standard—but uncertainty surrounds its direction under the Trump administration.

Nine states have enacted measures against workplace violence in health care settings. The toughest of these is California’s Workplace Violence Prevention Health Care standard, which was enacted last year. It requires health care facilities to implement a comprehensive program with multiple components for addressing workplace violence.

See more news stories from our April issue, which are free to access through April 21:

2017-04-14T08:49:22+00:00 April 14th, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments