Advances in our practice are truly amazing. In less than a quarter of a century, progress in medicine, technology, and trauma care has allowed us to save many patients who wouldn't have survived in the past. Trauma care innovations contributing to dramatically lower trauma death rates include the helical computed tomography scan, focused assessment with sonography for trauma (known as FAST), and digital X-ray systems that provide faster, more accurate diagnoses.
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We've made telling advances in cardiovascular care as well. A good example is the growing use of B-type (brain) natriuretic peptide testing to diagnose heart failure. More accurate diagnostic tests will become increasingly valuable as our population ages and the number of people with heart disease swells.
Yes, we rely on new technologies every day, but your nursing knowledge and skills are as important as ever. Continue to hone your assessment skills, check the patient before the machine, and trust your sixth sense. Your critical care choices still save lives.
Mary Ellen "Mel" Wilson