On this month’s cover is A Maid Asleep (1656–57) by the Dutch master Johannes Vermeer. We chose this painting to call attention to the issue of sleepiness in nurses who work the night shift, which is explored in this month’s Original Research article.
On-the-job sleepiness among nurses can increase the risk of patient care errors, job-related injuries, and long-term health problems.
For night-shift nurses, one potential solution is being allowed to take brief naps during a shift, which the American Nurses Association recommends as an evidence-based countermeasure to fatigue. But nurses may face barriers to doing so, including a lack of formal breaks on the unit and concerns about impeding the quality of nursing care. To learn about a project that explored those barriers and attempted to implement night-shift naps, read “Napping on the Night Shift: A Two-Hospital Implementation Project.”
Some other articles of note in the May issue:
CE Feature: “Intrathecal Pumps for Managing Cancer Pain.” Among patients with cancer, moderate to severe pain is prevalent and can be refractory even with the use of systemic opioids, which may cause adverse effects that are difficult to manage at the doses required to control pain. When delivered intrathecally, however, opioids and adjuvant analgesics may provide greater pain relief at dramatically lower doses and with fewer adverse effects. This article provides an overview of intrathecal pump therapy, including its benefits and potential risks and complications; the medications that can be delivered intrathecally; and the nursing care required by patients who use an intrathecal pump.
Special Feature: “Mentoring Clinical Nurses to Write for Publication: Strategies for Success.” Clinical nurses often find writing a challenge, but it’s important to disseminate clinical practice initiatives that result in notable patient outcomes. Nurses have a responsibility to share what they do to improve patient care. This article describes the initiation of a workshop series designed to teach clinical nurses about the writing process and mentor them through the stages of submitting a manuscript for publication.
Emergency: “Henoch–Schönlein Purpura in the ED.” Using a case study, the authors of this article detail the nursing assessment, diagnosis and treatment, and possible complications of Henoch–Schönlein purpura, the most common form of pediatric vasculitis.
There’s much more in our May issue, including a Quality Counts column that provides an overview of the Hospital Value Based-Purchasing Program, a Correspondence from Abroad article detailing one nurse’s experience teaching in Malawi, and a What I’m Reading column that connects lessons from Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In to nursing, so click here to browse the table of contents and explore the issue on our Web site.