Essential Nursing Resources: A Crucial Tool for Nurses Seeking Information on the Web

This nursing resource will help you find anything you need to know

By Maureen Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief

Back in the dark ages, before the Web, when I was in school and researching a topic, I would go to the university library (in Manhattan, this meant a subway ride to the main campus), fill out a form, and hand it to the librarian. After a couple of hours, I’d check back and the librarian would have pulled up to eight “on-reserve” books (no more were allowed until these were returned) from the stacks and have them waiting for me. This cycle would repeat itself several times, and sometimes I’d have to wait for an “ILL”—an interlibrary loan. Of course, if I procrastinated, the material I wanted might already have been taken out by other students and I’d be out of luck, facing a deadline with no source material.

Of course, it’s all different now with the Web. This week, even the venerable Encyclopedia Britannica announced it is ceasing print production after almost 250 years and will only be available in digital format.

Now, researchers and students have virtually every article published available to them via the Internet. For nurses, there’s something called Essential Nursing Resources (pdf), an annotated listing of resources for nursing published by the Interagency Council on Information Resources in Nursing (ICIRN). 

Founded in 1960 (here’s a brief history) by […]

“Let Patients Help”: Nurses and e-Patients

Joy Jacobson is a health care journalist and the poet-in-residence at the Center for Health, Media, and Policy at Hunter College, where she teaches writing to nursing students.

In the March issue of AJN, a letter writer responds critically to my news report, “Leveling the Research Field Through Social Media,” published last October. My report summarizes some recent trends in medical research, including patients using Facebook and other social networking sites to push for the funding of research into treatments that the science may not support. I go on to discuss PatientsLikeMe, which describes itself as “a health data-sharing platform” designed to “transform the way patients manage their own conditions.”

The letter writer objects to the idea of patients sharing their own data online. Can vulnerable, mentally ill patients, she asks, consent to participate in online research? Is enough being done to safeguard them? “I suggest we disseminate information to nurses that helps them steer patients away from Web sites such as PatientsLikeMe,” she concludes, “until programs and processes are in place to better protect the public we’ve pledged to serve.”

Several PatientsLikeMe researchers responded to this nurse’s points; a synopsis of their responses was included along with the reader’s letter in the March issue. “What we are doing is new and as such should be scrutinized frequently and rigorously by peers to ensure we are meeting the ethical standards one would expect for our patients,” they write. “We believe our […]

What Is Meaningful Use? One Savvy Nurse’s Take

By Jared Sinclair, an ICU nurse in Nashville who has a blog about health care and technology

If you follow health care news regularly, and yet you still feel unsure what “meaningful use” means and how it will affect your job as a nurse, then you have something in common with even the most knowledgeable people on the subject. Despite the fact that discussion of meaningful use among health care IT and informatics folks has reached a fever pitch since the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act was passed last February, in many ways we are no closer to understanding how it will change health care than when discussion first began.

What do we know for sure? The HITECH Act promises incentive payments to providers and hospitals that use electronic health records in ways that meet a minimum set of requirements called “meaningful use.” That sounds simple enough; however, there isn’t just one set of requirements. The criteria for meaningful use will come in three stages, and the requirements for stages two and three have yet to be determined. This is why your local hospital’s nurse informaticists may be less than enthusiastic about the next five years of their jobs. They bear the responsibility for preparing their hospitals for huge changes—without the luxury of knowing what those changes […]

2016-11-21T13:15:16+00:00 October 14th, 2010|digital health, Nursing|2 Comments

I Simulate, Therefore I Am…

One after another, the student nurses pump the hand sanitizer dispenser and approach the bedside. They turn the patient’s name band to check his birth date and full name and say, in that singsong manner typical of young adults, “Good morning, Mr. Johnson, I’m your nurse today. How are you feeling?” The patient is a manikin called SimMan, short for simulation man, and I’m his voice. Hidden behind a one-way mirror, I also control SimMan’s physiological responses to the students’ interventions. My goal is to replicate the essential aspects of a clinical situation in order to prepare the students to encounter them in a living patient.

That’s the start of the September Reflections essay, written by a nursing instructor who experiences a curious role reversal as he plays the patient in a simulation exercise. Read the rest of it here, and let us know what you think.—JM, senior editor/blog editor

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