Nurses spend more time with patients than most other types of providers and have unique insight into patient care and the the healthcare system.

AJN in September: Predicting Injurious Falls, Military Sexual Trauma, Recognizing MI, More

AJN0916.Cover.OnlineThe September issue of AJN is now live. Here are some articles we’d like to bring to your attention.

CE Feature: Original Research: Predicting Injurious Falls in the Hospital Setting: Implications for Practice

Despite years of research and increasingly evidence-based practice, falls continue to be the most commonly reported adverse events experienced by hospitalized adults. Yet most of the relevant research has focused on predicting and preventing falls in general; there has been little focus on injurious falls. In an attempt to identify which patient factors are associated with injurious falls in hospitalized adults, the authors of this retrospective study analyzed 10 variables. Their findings may help hospital clinicians to identify at-risk patients and create better fall-related injury prevention interventions.

CE Feature: “Military Sexual Trauma in Male Service Members

The experience of military sexual trauma (MST), which can result from assault, battery, or harassment of a sexual nature, may jeopardize the mental health of service members. This article discusses the unique ways in which men may experience MST and examines how social stereotypes of masculinity, myths surrounding sexual assault, and military culture and structure often influence a man’s interpretation of an attack and his likelihood of reporting the incident or seeking treatment. It also describes current treatments for MST-related mental health conditions and addresses implications for nurses and other health care professionals.
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August 26th, 2016|Nursing, nursing perspective|0 Comments

Nurses Take Action on Moral Distress (Updated Post)

(Editor’s note: We have updated the photo caption in this post, which contained one inaccuracy. And to our blog’s subscribers: we had a technical issue and this resulted in duplicate email notifications for some old blog posts. We are working on this today and promise not to keep filling your inboxes!)

Nurses gather at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing to address this growing problem.

A nurse struggles to reconcile repeated surgeries and transfusions for a premature infant with the child’s slight chance of survival. An oncology nurse knows a patient wants to refuse treatment but doesn’t do so because his physician and family want him to “fight on.” A nurse on a geriatric unit knows she is not giving needed care to patients because of inadequate staffing.

From left, Katherine Brown-Saltzman, Kathryn Trotochaud, Lisa Lehmann, Heidi Holtz From left, Katherine Brown-Saltzman,
Paula Goodman-Crews, Lisa Lehmann, Heidi Holtz

Situations like these are not rare for nurses and often give rise to moral distress—that is, when nurses recognize their responsibility to respond to care situations but are unable to translate their moral choices into action.

Moral distress in nursing has risen to unprecedented levels, contributing to burnout and staff shortages and imperiling safe, quality health care.

Seeking solutions.

Nursing researchers, clinicians, organization representatives, and other stakeholders convened in Baltimore on August 11-12 for an intense invitational workshop called State of the Science Symposium: Transforming Moral Distress to Moral Resiliency in Nursing. The meeting focused on how to best address moral distress.

The 46 participants heard from experts on what’s known from research and what’s still being debated, potential avenues for study, and what, despite the dearth of hard data, appear to be promising practices for dealing with moral distress. (For more on the intersection of moral distress and moral resiliency, see “Moral Distress: A Catalyst for Building Moral Resilience” in the July issue of AJN.)

After identifying what seem to be the essential elements of helpful initiatives and models, participants worked in groups to brainstorm strategies for developing resilience and creating healthy work environments that will promote safe, quality care for patients and their families. […]

August 16th, 2016|Nursing, nursing perspective|0 Comments

Former Navy Nurse Raises Awareness About the Lingering Effects of Agent Orange

Susan Schnall and a group of children at Tu Du Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, in 2008. Susan Schnall and a group of children at Tu Du Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, in 2008.

On August 10, 1961, the United States military first sprayed Agent Orange, a defoliant containing a particularly toxic dioxin compound, in Vietnam. Fifty-five years later, the effects of this and other chemicals linger on. And 48 years after former naval nurse Susan Schnall was court-martialed for protesting the Vietnam War, she visited Vietnam for the first time and witnessed these effects firsthand.

“In all my years in health care, I have never seen children with such severe birth defects,” Schnall said during an interview with AJN. After her court-martial, Schnall went on to have a successful 30-year career in hospital administration. After retiring and visiting Vietnam, she decided she needed to do something about what she witnessed there.

Schnall joined a group called the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign, made up of American Vietnam Veterans, Vietnamese Americans, social activists, and community leaders. The group aims to educate the public on the repercussions of the chemical warfare used in Southeast Asia and tries to get the U.S. government to compensate the more than 3 million Vietnamese people still suffering from the chemicals’ effects. […]

AJN News: E-Cigarettes and Children, Transgender Health, Nursing Workforce Survey, More

AJN’s monthly news section covers timely and important research and policy stories that are relevant to the nursing world. Here are some of the stories you’ll find in our current issue (news articles in AJN are free access):

E-cigarette packaging uses colorful images to depict various flavors. Photo by David Becker / Reuters.

Toxic Exposures of Young Children to E-Cigarettes on the Rise

A new analysis of calls to U.S. poison control centers found that e-cigarette exposures in children younger than six increased dramatically from 2012 to 2015. Though child-resistant packaging for e-cigarette products was federally mandated in January, advocates are also calling for regulations on eye-catching packaging, which can be attractive to children.

Transgender Rights in Health Care

Recent federal actions are raising awareness about the needs of gender-nonconforming individuals, who have poor health outcomes and often face substandard care, insufficient insurance coverage, and inadequate health outreach.

A Snapshot of the 2015 National Nursing Workforce

Results of a large-scale survey of RNs reveal that education levels among nurses are increasing, along with gender and ethnic diversity, and that the aging of the RN population is slowing—an indicator that concerns about an impending nursing shortage due to retirements may be unwarranted.

Abigail Begin next to her family’s well in Maine. The family only learned that the well contained arsenic after signing up for a study that offered a water quality test. Photo by Amy Temple.

Arsenic Levels in Drinking Water Linked to Bladder Cancer

In light of significantly elevated rates of the disease in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, investigators conducted a population-based case–control study that found a connection between bladder cancer incidence and exposure to arsenic via well water. […]

August 11th, 2016|Nursing, nursing perspective|0 Comments

AJN in August: Burn Survivors and Social Media, HPV–Related Oropharyngeal Cancer, More

The August issue of AJN is now live. Here are some articles we’d like to bring to your attention.

CE Feature: Original Research: The Lived Experience of Social Media by Young Adult Burn Survivors

Young adult burn survivors whose burns occurred before they reached young adulthood face particular socialization challenges. Social media is widely used by adolescents and young adults, allowing socialization without face-to-face communication. This qualitative, phenomenological study explores and describes young adult burn survivors’ experience of using social media. The findings, which indicate that social media use may support healing processes in this population, could help nurses develop effective interventions to better prepare young adult burn survivors for reentry into society.

CE Feature: “Human Papillomavirus–Related Oropharyngeal Cancer: A Review of Nursing Considerations

The overall incidence of head and neck cancer has declined in the United States over the past 30 years due to reduction in tobacco use. Over that same period, however, the worldwide incidence of oropharyngeal cancer has escalated significantly, most notably among men and women under age 60 who live in developed countries. This epidemic rise in oropharyngeal cancer is largely attributed to certain genotypes of the human papillomavirus (HPV). This article provides an overview of head and neck cancer—its incidence, risk factors, treatment, and posttreatment sequelae—with a focus on HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer.
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August 1st, 2016|Nursing, nursing perspective|0 Comments