On our cover this month is Pablo Picasso’s Le Rêve (The Dream). We chose this portrait of a woman in a restful pose to highlight the importance of proper sleep to a person’s overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, not many Americans are able to get the proper amount of rest. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimates that 50 to 70 million U.S. adults have chronic sleep and wakefulness disorders—and nurses are not immune.
Between long shifts and the stressful nature of their jobs, nurses are especially vulnerable to not getting an adequate amount of quality sleep. Fatigue from lack of sleep may diminish the quality of nursing care. Sleep loss has been linked to impaired learning, memory, and judgment and is also associated with a slew of chronic diseases. This month’s CE feature, “The Potential Effects of Sleep Loss on a Nurse’s Health,” describes the acute and chronic effects of sleep loss on nurses, strategies nurses can use to improve the quality of their sleep, and institutional policies that can promote good rest and recuperation.
This feature offers 2 CE credits to those who take the test that follows the article. You can further explore this topic by listening to a podcast interview with the author (this and other free podcasts are accessible via the Behind the Article podcasts page on our Web site, in our iPad app, or on iTunes).
Deep breathing for dialysis patients. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) generally has a poor prognosis and often causes poor sleep quality, reduced quality of life, and is associated with high rates of hospitalization. It’s no surprise that an estimated 25%–50% of patients with CKD suffer from depression. This month’s original research CE, “The Efficacy of a Nurse-Led Breathing Training Program in Reducing Depressive Symptoms in Patients on Hemodialysis: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” examines the efficacy of a nurse-led breathing training program in reducing depression and improving quality of sleep in patients on maintenance hemodialysis. This feature article offers 2.5 CE credits to those who take the test that follows the article.
Personal protective equipment. The recent Ebola outbreak turned national attention to nurses’ use of personal protective equipment (PPE), but use of even basic infection-control practices, such as hand hygiene and standard precautions, is often suboptimal in many settings. “Clinical Challenges in Isolation Care,” an article in our Question of Practice column, reviews the results of a 2014 study that investigated nurses’ use of PPE in the care of a live simulated patient requiring contact and airborne precautions.
Nursing education. The IOM report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health identifies the need for more highly educated nurses, and for an improved education system. “Nursing Education Transformation,” the third article in our Advancing Health Through Nursing: Progress of the Campaign for Action series, describes the changing landscape of nursing education and includes examples of progress, challenges, and successes.
Other articles of note in this issue include an AJN Reports on gun violence, a new installment in our series on conflict engagement, and a Profiles article on nurses who recently returned from West Africa after treating patients with Ebola.
See the full table of contents on our Web site.