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 cardiac arrhythmia […]

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

Storytelling as a Vital Source of Knowledge and Connection in Nursing

I’m not saying that nurses should abandon the quantitative and evidence-based practices that we know have saved many lives. But we should also seek to balance and contextualize this approach through humbly listening to the stories of those we care for. Some of my greatest learning has come from individual client stories and from the rich meaning of their experiences. Stories from clients about their lives can have both a tangible and an intangible effect on the care we provide. A story may create an atmosphere of openness, closeness, and warmth that is both soothing and healing during the most trying times.

Lascaux cave painting/via Wikipedia Lascaux cave painting/via Wikipedia

That’s an excerpt from “He Told Me a Dream of Animals Leaving His Heart,” this month’s Viewpoint essay by Mary Smith, a nurse practitioner and PhD student who writes of caring for a traditional healer as a community health nurse working in a First Nation community in an isolated northern area in Canada.

Smith discusses the many roles storytelling can play: it’s a way to inspire nursing students and explore ethical issues, a source of knowledge about patients and communities, a way to bridge cultural differences, and much more. The piece is direct, short, and written with clarity and insight. Give it a read and see if it gets you thinking or speaks to your own experience.—Jacob Molyneux, senior editor

 

2017-05-27T10:30:57+00:00 December 5th, 2014|Nursing, patient experience|2 Comments

If She Yells ‘Help Me’ – Poster Therapy to Convey the Needs, Identity of an Ailing Parent

Joan Melton, MSN, lives in Indiana.

Photo by Ann Gordon, via Flickr Photo by Ann Gordon, via Flickr

I am a geriatric nurse practitioner and have also been the daughter to an ill, aging parent. I felt well trained for my professional role but struggled with the latter.

I joked that, despite my logical understanding of what was going on with my mother, it could be hard to accept her physical and functional changes, which sometimes seemed to fly in the face of logic. There were days Mom’s hospice nurses spent more time with me than with my mother. They’d sit and allow me to vent my frustration at watching my mother slowly leave me, at feeling overwhelmed and “losing my cool” with her, at not being able to practice the advice I’d so readily handed out to so many other families over the years, not being able to “fix it” and successfully comfort all of Mom’s fears and ailments 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Yes, I know how unrealistic that last statement sounds. Thank goodness for hospice nurses, who reminded me that I was “the daughter” and did not need to be “the nurse practitioner.” They reminded me that as the daughter I had amazing insight no one else had.

So, when Mom spent a week in the […]

2016-11-21T13:04:15+00:00 July 23rd, 2014|Nursing, Patients|7 Comments

What Ever Happened to a Good History?

ky olsen/via Flickr ky olsen/via Flickr

By Karen Roush, MS, RN, FNP, clinical managing editor

What ever happened to a good history? We were taught as NP students that the history portion of the exam was as important as the physical. In fact, in most cases it’s what you learn in the history—from asking the right questions and really listening to the patient’s answers—that gives you the information you need to figure out what is going on. The physical findings either support what you’re thinking or lead you to ask more specific questions.

A good history isn’t just listening to the patient’s answers to your questions; it’s listening to all the information they offer. Take for example, the middle-aged construction worker who takes his lunch hour to come in to the clinic complaining of a cold. He lists the usual symptoms, cough, fatigue, a little shortness of breath, and then as you’re starting the exam he casually mentions that he hasn’t been to a doctor in 15 years.

Someone who’s managed to stay out of a doctor’s office for 15 years and now shows up, on his lunch hour, because of a simple cold? So, you ask some more questions and learn about some chest pressure he attributes to the coughing he’s been doing and about his father’s death at 58 of […]

2016-11-21T13:05:39+00:00 January 10th, 2014|nursing perspective, Patients|4 Comments