Nurses and Patient Safety: Parallel Histories

Photo from AJN archives.

I’m especially pleased that one of the CE articles in the February issue focuses on nursing’s role in creating a safe environment for patients: “Nursing’s Evolving Role in Patient Safety.” And in full disclosure, I was excited to see that the authors used the AJN archives to chronicle how nursing addressed (or didn’t address) safety issues around patient care.

From the earliest days of nursing through to the current complex systems in which we practice, nurses have been the health professionals responsible for ensuring safe passage of patients through the health care system. From Nightingale’s criteria for creating a healing environment to the “5 rights of medication administration,” patients rely on nurses to act as sentinels.

The authors reviewed 1,086 AJN articles from 1900 to 2015 and conducted a content analysis to identify patient safety themes. Aside from uncovering many fascinating (and sometimes alarming!) details of former health care practices, the authors drew this general conclusion:

“Emphasis on patient safety increased as patient care became more complex. As nurses developed a professional identity, they often put a spotlight on safety concerns and solutions.”

Here’s a quote from a nurse who wrote in 1908 about nurses’ duties: […]

2016 Nurse Faculty Scholars/AJN Mentored Writing Award Winner

AJN0916.Cover.OnlineAnd the Winner Is….

We’re pleased to announce that the winner of the 2016 Nurse Faculty Scholars/AJN Mentored Writing Award is Denise M. Eckerlin, BSN, RN, a predoctoral fellow at the University of Washington School of Nursing in Seattle. She won for her CE feature article published in the September issue of AJN,Military Sexual Trauma in Male Service Members.”

Eckerlin coauthored the article with her mentor, Andrea Kovalesky, PhD, RN, an associate professor in the School of Nursing and Health Studies at the University of Washington Bothell, and Matthew Jakupcak, PhD, a clinical psychologist and researcher at the Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center in the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle. She will receive an award certificate and $500. […]

2016-11-30T17:24:52+00:00 November 21st, 2016|Nursing, nursing students|1 Comment

Hitting the Nursing Conference Trail: Many Miles, But Much to Inspire

“Nurses are doing such interesting and important work.”

A big part of what we do at AJN is seek out the latest information and compelling stories to bring to readers each month. That often means a lot of traveling. While sometimes it does get a bit much (conferences are mostly clustered in the spring and the fall), I’ve come to enjoy traveling—nurses are doing such interesting and important work!

Here’s a recap of some recent travels:

Nursing Research

  • At the October biennial meeting of the Council for the Advancement of Nursing

    Thomas LaVeist Thomas LaVeist, PhD

    Science (CANS), researchers also celebrated the 30th anniversary of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). There’s a full report in the upcoming December issue of AJN, but among the highlights was Thomas LaVeist’s keynote on examining disparities in research. An engaging speaker, he brought his points home with vivid examples of how social status can determine health and well-being—for example, Titanic passengers in third class were 16 times more likely to die than those in first class because of life boat availability. There was also a well-attended session on funding opportunities (both of these presentations are available on the CANS Web site). Of […]

2016-11-21T13:00:52+00:00 November 2nd, 2016|Nursing|0 Comments

AJN in October: Oral Treatments for Breast Cancer, PAD in Older Adults, Research or Not Research, More

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

CE Feature: A Review of Common Oral Treatments for Breast Cancer: Improving Patient Safety in Nononcology Settings

According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 3 million women in the United States are currently living with a breast cancer diagnosis. Many seek care in nononcology settings for treatment, acute symptoms and complaints related to their cancer diagnosis, or unrelated concerns. Yet many nononcology providers are unfamiliar with the various oral agents used to treat breast cancer and their possible adverse effects and drug interactions. This article provides an overview of the most common oral treatments for breast cancer and discusses common adverse effects and management.

CE Feature: “Assessing Pain, Agitation, and Delirium in Hospitalized Older Adults

In the acute care setting, pain, agitation, and delirium (PAD) often occur as interrelated parts of a syndrome rather than as separate entities. Because the three facets of PAD may be similar in presentation, it is often difficult for clinicians to recognize the syndrome and to assess and treat it. The challenge is particularly great in older patients. This article provides an overview of each aspect of PAD, discusses clinical considerations related […]

2016-11-21T13:00:54+00:00 October 4th, 2016|Nursing|0 Comments

Injurious Falls in the Hospital Setting

by Maureen Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief

PatOriginal.00000446-201609000-00022.FF1ient falls are, unfortunately, a frequent occurrence in hospitals and the consequences can vary from none to serious life-threatening injuries. There has been a lot of attention focused on identifying those at high risk for falls and effective prevention measures, but according to our September CE feature, there’s been little attention focused on falls that cause injuries. In this original research study, Predicting Injurious Falls in the Hospital Setting: Implications for Practice, Amy Hester and colleagues at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences conducted a retrospective review of medical records to see if they could pinpoint which patient factors were associated with falls with injuries. Their results may surprise you.

Here’s the abstract:

Background: Despite years of research and increasingly evidence-based practice, falls continue to be the most commonly reported adverse events experienced by hospitalized adults. Yet a majority of the relevant research has focused on predicting and preventing falls in general; there has been little focus on injurious falls.

Purpose: The purpose of this retrospective study was to determine which patient factors are associated with injurious falls in hospitalized adults.

Methods: The study site’s adverse event reporting database was used to identify 1,369 patients who fell between January 1, 2006, and October 31, 2013. Of these, 381 (27.8%) subjects suffered injurious falls. Variables of interest included age, sex, fall history, use of diuretics, use of central nervous system medications, cognitive impairment, primary discharge diagnoses, abnormal laboratory values, impaired mobility, and […]

2016-11-21T13:00:58+00:00 August 31st, 2016|Nursing, nursing research|0 Comments