This month’s cover shows an elderly prisoner being handcuffed before transportation to a local hospital. Older inmates like this one represent the fastest growing age demographic in the U.S. prison population.
An important role in the care of prisoners is often filled by other inmates. The ambulance transporting the prisoner on our cover was staffed by inmates, for example, and inmates can be trained to care for sick prisoners, especially the terminally ill. For an in-depth look at the current state of care delivery for dying inmates, read “End-of-Life Care Behind Bars: A Systematic Review.”
Some other articles of note in the March issue:
Original Research: “The Benefits of Rapid Response Teams: Exploring Perceptions of Nurse Leaders, Team Members, and End Users.” It matters how a health care facility’s members regard its rapid response team (RRT). Subjective perceptions that the program has benefits—even in the absence of objective confirmation—tend to be associated with its continued use and long-term sustainability. This qualitative study investigates the perceptions of nurse leaders, RRT members, and RRT users concerning the benefits of RRTs. Its findings suggest several recommendations for practice, policy, and further research.
CE Feature: “Revisiting Child Sexual Abuse and Survivor Issues.” Child sexual abuse is a global issue that all nurses must be aware of as they care for children in various care settings. This article focuses on the prevalence, potential risk factors, and possible signs and symptoms of child sexual abuse. It also provides information about what nurses can do should they suspect that a child has been or is being abused. The article also addresses the possible long-term issues faced by survivors and provides resources that nurses can share with patients.
In the Community: “Anencephaly: An Ongoing Investigation in Washington State.” In 2012, a nurse in Washington State detected a cluster of babies born with anencephaly—a fatal condition in which infants are born without parts of the brain or skull. The resulting investigation initially confirmed a rate of anencephaly between January 2010 and January 2013 more than four times the national average. As of November 2015, cases of anencephaly in Washington State have continued to increase. While no distinct cause has yet been determined, the article describes various risk factors for such defects, such as folic acid deficits, and describes the ongoing investigation.
(Editor’s note: If you are using a mobile device, AJN links may take you to the current issue’s table of contents rather than to the articles themselves. If this occurs, just scroll down to the specific article.)