A Crucial Public Health Lesson: Let the Women Speak

” . . . people have their own hope and power which they need to discover.”

Illustration by Gingermoth for AJN.

Do some public health projects fail to live up to their ambitions because they were conceived in a conference room rather than in dialogue with those they are trying to help? It seems possible. Terms like client or community “buy-in” are now fashionable, but maybe what’s really meant by such terms is that people are given a chance to state their needs and their concerns ahead of time. And that someone is listening.

In this month’s Reflections essay by nurse practitioner Mark Darby, he remembers a valuable lesson once imparted to him through example by a Dominican priest. “Shut Up and Let the Women Speak” doesn’t flatter the younger version of the author who once visited the Dominican Republic on a medical mission. […]

2017-12-11T08:37:50+00:00 December 11th, 2017|Nursing, nursing stories, Public health|0 Comments

‘Micro’ and ‘Macro’ Strategies for Nursing to Thrive as a Profession

At last month’s annual convention of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN), nurse and health care economist Peter Buerhaus received the Anthony J. Jannetti Award “for extraordinary contributions to health care.” Buerhaus, a professor of nursing at Montana State University College of Nursing, is widely known across health care disciplines for his research on health care costs and value, especially in regard to nurses and nursing. In his keynote talk, Buerhaus shared some of his recent research findings and offered some “micro” and “macro” nursing strategies for thriving amid today’s health care challenges.

Nurses maintain status as highly trusted professionals.

Click to expand. Most trusted professions, Gallup 2017 poll.

He began by reminding the group of some of the reasons that nurses are respected and trusted in America. People believe that nurses ensure quality of care, protect patients and maintain safety standards, and provide advice on personal health issues.

Studies show that we maintain this trusted status even when the media reports on the mistakes of individual nurses. And after good media attention, as when Alex Wubbels protected her patient or when nurses play key roles in disaster relief efforts, our approval ratings soar.

Accomplishments of NPs have reinforced good reputation of nurses.

2017-11-17T10:20:27+00:00 November 15th, 2017|Nursing, nursing research|0 Comments

The CAPABLE Program: Supporting Aging in Place

Determining what matters to homebound elders.

Sarah Szanton

This month, AJN profiles Sarah Szanton, who created a program known as CAPABLE—Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders—that helps low-income seniors to remain at home with the aid of a unique home care team.

Szanton, an NP who has provided care for homebound elders, notes that “[b]eing in someone’s home gives you the opportunity to see what matters to them.”

The “person–environment fit.”

Szanton’s keen interest in the “person–environment fit” of her frail elderly patients led her to a different perspective on managing illness—one focused less on the “medical model” and more on “function and being able to do what they would like to do.”

In 2008, after the NIH requested proposals for projects to help the newly unemployed, Szanton wondered whether people with home-building skills could be paired with elders to improve their independence and quality of life. And the idea for CAPABLE began to form.

A unique home care team: nurse, occupational therapist, handyman.

CAPABLE’s home care teams are made up of a nurse, an occupational therapist, and a handyman. The patient identifies functional goals such as “to be able to stand long enough to prepare a meal,” and the team devises a plan based on these goals. […]

AJN in October: Ablation for A-Fib, Holistic Nursing, 50 Years of NPs, Care Coordination, More

AJN1015 Cover OnlineThis month’s cover celebrates AJN’s 115th anniversary with a collage of archival photographs and past covers. The images are intended to reflect the varied roles and responsibilities of nurses past and present, as well as to commemorate AJN‘s chronicling of nursing through the decades.

In this issue, we also celebrate another nursing milestone, the 50th anniversary of the NP, with a timeline (to view, click the PDF link at the landing page) that illustrates and recaps the significant progress made by this type of advanced practice nurse.

To read more about what has changed—and what hasn’t—for AJN and its readers after more than a century in print, see this month’s editorial, “Still the One: 115 and Going Strong.”

Some other articles of note in the October issue:

CE feature: Integrative Care: The Evolving Landscape in American Hospitals.” As the use of complementary and alternative medicine has surged in popularity in the United States, many hospitals have begun integrating complementary services and therapies to augment conventional medical care. This first article in a five-part series on holistic nursing provides an overview of some of the integrative care initiatives being introduced in U.S. hospitals and reports on findings from a survey of nursing leaders at hospitals that have implemented such programs.

CE feature: Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation.” This treatment for the most common sustained […]

2016-11-21T13:01:58+00:00 September 30th, 2015|Nursing, nursing perspective|0 Comments

Long-Term Complications After Congenital Heart Defect Repair

By Betsy Todd, MPH, RN, CIC, AJN clinical editor

Even those of us who don’t work in peds or cardiology are familiar with the amazing surgeries done to repair congenital heart defects (CHDs). After surgery, kids with CHDs are literally transformed, their glowing good health a reminder that medical miracles really can happen.

Sometimes, though, health problems develop many years after CHD surgery. These can be consequences of the original defect itself, or of the specific type of repair that was employed.

In this month’s CE feature, “Long-Term Outcomes after Repair of Congenital Heart Defects (part 1),” Marion McRae, an NP in the Guerin Family Congenital Heart Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, discusses the anatomy, physiology, and repair options related to six common CHDs: bicuspid aortic valve, atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, atrioventricular septal defect, coarctation of the aorta, and pulmonic stenosis. One of the types of congenital heart defects covered in the article is shown in the illustration.

Figure 3. Secundum Atrial Septal Defect and Transcatheter Occlusion. Secundum atrial septal defect is located in the center of the atrial septum (A). Blood usually shunts across the defect from the left atrium to the right atrium. The Gore Helex septal occluder is shown in a partially deployed position across the atrial septum (B). LA = left atrium; LV [...]
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2016-11-21T13:03:10+00:00 January 19th, 2015|Nursing, Patients|2 Comments