Last week, we asked nurses on Facebook
, and Google+
to share words that describe nurses and what we do. Here's the result! Any more to add?
Posted: 4/29/2015 8:37:06 PM
Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP
| with 3 comments
National Nurses Week runs from May 6 through May 12, ending on Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Every year, NursingCenter hosts a variety of celebrations, ranging from discounts on continuing education activities, journal articles, and nursing eBooks, to special giveaways, blog posts, and more.
This year, the American Nurses Association has given National Nurses Week the theme, “Ethical Practice, Quality Care,” and we are gearing up to bring you the same great week of celebrations as a special thank you to all of our members.
• Be sure to check our National Nurses Week page each day that week for discounts, activities, and blog posts.
• We will be developing an exciting CE Collection around topics dealing with “Ethical Practice, Quality Care.”
• Don’t forget to register for any of our free nursing newsletters, as we will be gifting a variety of offers to our newsletter members.
• As a bonus, there are two Lippincott conferences running during National Nurses Week this year, the National Conference for Nurse Practitioners and the Lippincott Clinical Nursing Conference. Both nursing conferences are being held in Philadelphia.
Stay tuned for more information on how to celebrate National Nurses Week with NursingCenter.
Posted: 4/7/2015 2:30:48 PM
| with 0 comments
The salary gap, in general, is upsetting. For some reason, I just didn’t expect it to exist in nursing. In a profession that is predominantly female (according to a 2011 census report, only 9.6% of nurses are male), it really never occurred to me that such a discrepancy in pay was realistic. The results of recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrate that pay inequality not only exists in nursing, but is quite significant.
Here are some highlights from the research letter, which looked at two large data sets (the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses [1988 to 2008] and the American Community Survey [2001 to 2013]) to assess salary trends by gender:
- Male RN salaries were higher than female RN salaries every year, with an overall annual difference of $5,148.
- In ambulatory care, the salary gap was $7,678; in hospitals, it was $3,873.
- With the exception of orthopedics, male nurses out-earned female nurses in every specialty with the gap ranging from $3,792 in chronic care to $17,290 for nurse anesthetists.
Like many others, I find these results discouraging. However, I am hopeful that nurses will be encouraged to speak up about our worth and engage in salary negotiations. I also am hopeful that employers will recognize these inequities and examine their pay structures.
What’s missing in this research is the reason for this gap in pay. Care to share your thoughts on this?
“Nursing has been a blessing to me and my family that has allowed me to travel the globe and care for the sickest of the sick across the lifespan.” Scott DeBoer RN, MSN, CPEN, CEN, CCRN, CFRN is a nurse leader with more than 20 years of experience. Currently, he serves as a flight nurse for the University of Chicago Hospitals. He is also a founder of Peds-R-Us Medical Education, a seminar company interested in enhancing the care of children.
DeBoer wrote the Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse Review book, which is now in its third edition, as well a body piercing removal handbook, and a book on emergency care for newborns. He earned his master's degree in critical care nursing from Purdue University in 1996 and spent time there as a clinical nursing instructor.
As our next Nurse On the Move, DeBoer is eager to promote the nursing profession and offer his views on nursing education, pediatric care, and the future of nursing.
Q: Why did you choose nursing as a profession?
A: I grew up thinking I was going to be a pediatrician, however, after several orthopedic injuries in high school and way too much time spent in the ER, I learned to love the nurses and not be so enthralled with the physicians. Nursing has been an absolutely amazing career.
Q: What attracted you to the career of a flight nurse?
A: Very early in my career, the flight team picked up a 3-month old child in status epilepticus from our ER. I was freaking out to say the least, as I’d never given Valium to anyone that small in my life. The flight crew was nothing short of amazing; I knew from that point on that flight/transport nursing was what I wanted to do as a career.
Q: How important is it for nurses to continue their education?
A: I would say education is crucial, especially for nurses just entering the profession. A bachelor's degree is essential. I work with many incredibly skilled paramedics who obtained their associate's degree in nursing from local community colleges, however, they can't get nursing jobs as many hospitals won't even interview without a bachelor's degree.
Q: Why is pediatric emergency care important to you?
A: Simply, I don't really like taking care of big people. If have a choice, I prefer taking care of sick kids – kids are amazing. They tend to get really sick, really fast, which of course can be scary, but, when they get better, they get better really fast as well. They haven't had years of bad habits (Burger King, beer, etc.) to result in their illness or injuries. They're good kids who’ve bad things happen to them. I just try to help them (and their families) get better.
Q: For a nurse starting out, what would be your number one piece of advice?
A: Beyond getting your bachelor's, it's not being afraid to ask questions of experienced nurses on the unit. The idea that there is no stupid question, especially when it applies to patient care, is really true. What you learned in school is a very, very small part of what you learn on the job from everyone from housekeeping and unit secretaries (they are truly invaluable) to the chief of surgery. Everyone has something they are an expert at and most times are willing (and happy) to teach, if asked by those honestly desiring to learn.
Q: What do you see as a major obstacle/problem in the current nursing environment?
A: The electronic medical record epidemic – they aren’t going anywhere. I know this and have resigned myself to this fact, however, I truly miss the ability to sit on the patient's bed, look them in the eye, and get a quick history. In many facilities, I have to look at a computer screen bolted to the wall while trying to talk to the patient or their family in another part of the room. This is not ideal – the focus needs to be on the patient and their family, not on clicking computer keys.
Q: What do you envision for the future of nursing?
A: I envision an ongoing advancement in the roles of advanced practice nurses, especially with continued financial considerations and changes in healthcare reimbursement. On the transport medicine side, more patients will be transported by ambulance versus helicopters, and emergency departments will continue to see more patients, as access to primary care practitioners remains an issue.
*Do you know an inspiring nurse to be featured for the next Nurse On the Move? Email your submissions to ClinicalEditor@NursingCenter.com.
Posted: 2/25/2015 2:08:39 PM
| with 0 comments
If you are administering I.V. fluids or medications to a patient through a peripheral I.V. site, be alert for signs and symptoms of complications, institute preventive measures, and know how to intervene when complications do occur.
Infiltration occurs when I.V. fluid or medications leak into the surrounding tissue. Infiltration can be caused by improper placement or dislodgment of the catheter. Patient movement can cause the catheter to slip out or through the blood vessel lumen.
Signs and symptoms
- Swelling, discomfort, burning, and/or tightness
- Cool skin and blanching
- Decreased or stopped flow rate
- Select an appropriate I.V. site, avoiding areas of flexion.
- Use proper venipuncture technique.
- Follow your facility policy for securing the I.V. catheter.
- Observe the I.V. site frequently.
- Advise the patient to report any swelling or tenderness at the I.V. site.
- Stop the infusion and remove the device.
- Elevate the limb to increase patient comfort; a warm compress may be applied.
- Check the patient's pulse and capillary refill time.
- Perform venipuncture in a different location and restart the infusion, as ordered.
- Check the site frequently.
- Document your findings and interventions performed.
Extravasation is the leaking of vesicant drugs into surrounding tissue. Extravasation can cause severe local tissue damage, possibly leading to delayed healing, infection, tissue necrosis, disfigurement, loss of function, and even amputation.
Signs and symptoms
- Blanching, burning, or discomfort at the I.V. site
- Cool skin around the I.V. site
- Swelling at or above the I.V. site
- Blistering and/or skin sloughing
- Avoid veins that are small and/or fragile, veins in areas of flexion, veins in extremities with preexisting edema, or veins in areas with known neurologic impairment.
- Be aware of vesicant medications, such as certain antineoplastic drugs (doxorubicin, vinblastine, and vincristine), and hydroxyzine, promethazine, digoxin, and dopamine.
- Follow your facility policy regarding vesicant administration via a peripheral I.V.; some institutions require that vesicants are administered via a central venous access device only.
- Give vesicants last when multiple drugs are ordered.
- Strictly adhere to proper administration techniques.
- Stop the I.V. flow and remove the I.V. line, unless the catheter should remain in place to administer the antidote.
- Estimate the amount of extravasated solution and notify the prescriber.
- Administer the appropriate antidote according to your facility's protocol.
- Elevate the extremity.
- Perform frequent assessments of sensation, motor function, and circulation of the affected extremity.
- Record the extravasation site, your patient's symptoms, the estimated amount of extravasated solution, and the treatment.
- Follow the manufacturer's recommendations to apply either cold or warm compresses to the affected area.
Phlebitis is inflammation of a vein. It is usually associated with acidic or alkaline solutions or solutions that have a high osmolarity. Phlebitis can also occur as a result of vein trauma during insertion, use of an inappropriate I.V. catheter size for the vein, or prolonged use of the same I.V. site.
Signs and symptoms
- Redness or tenderness at the site of the tip of the catheter or along the path of the vein
- Puffy area over the vein
- Warmth around the insertion site
- Use proper venipuncture technique.
- Use a trusted drug reference or consult with the pharmacist for instructions on drug dilution, when necessary.
- Monitor administration rates and inspect the I.V. site frequently.
- Change the infusion site according to your facility's policy.
- Stop the infusion at the first sign of redness or pain.
- Apply warm, moist compresses to the area.
- Document your patient's condition and interventions.
- If indicated, insert a new catheter at a different site, preferably on the opposite arm, using a larger vein or a smaller device and restart the infusion.
An immediate, severe hypersensitivity reaction can be life-threatening, so prompt recognition and treatment are imperative.
Signs and Symptoms
- Sudden fever
- Joint swelling
- Rash and urticaria
- Ask the patent about personal and family history of allergies.
- For infants younger than 3 months, ask the mother about her allergy history because maternal antibodies may still be present.
- Stay with the patient for five to 10 minutes to detect early signs and symptoms of hypersensitivity.
- If the patient is receiving the drug for the first or second time, check him every five to 10 minutes or according to your facility's policy.
- Discontinue the infusion and notify the prescriber immediately.
- Administer medications as ordered.
- Monitor the patient's vital signs and provide emotional support.
Local or systemicinfection is another potential complication of I.V. therapy.
Signs and symptoms
- Redness and discharge at the I.V. site
- Elevated temperature
- Perform hand hygiene, don gloves, and use aseptic technique during I.V. insertion.
- Clean the site with approved skin antiseptic before inserting I.V. catheter.
- Ensure careful hand hygiene before any contact with the infusion system or the patient.
- Clean injection ports before each use.
- Follow your institution’s policy for dressing changes and changing of the solution and administration set.
- Stop the infusion and notify the prescriber.
- Remove the device, and culture the site and catheter as ordered.
- Administer medications as prescribed.
- Monitor the patient's vital signs.
With careful attention and skill, you’ll be able to recognize, prevent, and manage these complications of peripheral I.V. therapy.
(2008). I.V. Essentials: Complications of Peripheral I.V. Therapy. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, 6 (1).
Smeltzer, S. (2010). Brunner and Suddarth's Textbook of Medical Surgical Nursing, 12e. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Spencer, S. & Gilliam, P. (2015). Teaching patients about their short peripheral I.V. catheters. Nursing2015, 45 (2).
Vacca, V. (2013). TIME CRITICAL: Vesicant extravasation. Nursing2013, 43(9).
Posted: 2/9/2015 6:59:20 PM
Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP
| with 3 comments
Categories: Patient Safety
The current outbreak of measles, which has been linked to a California amusement park, continues to make headlines in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is tracking data on the states affected and the number of cases. I encourage you to stay informed so you’ll be able to best educate your patients and answer their questions.
Before I get to the purpose of this post – to review transmission, signs and symptoms, and treatment of measles – I’d like to briefly address why we are seeing this resurgence in cases. In 1998, a study was published in the Lancet which suggested a link between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. As a result, increased numbers of parents opted to refuse the MMR vaccine for their children. The researchers later retracted their study, and current evidence concludes that there is no association between vaccines and autism.
As nurses, we have a responsibility to educate patients about the importance of vaccinations and the implications when vaccine-preventable diseases reemerge. Measles is extremely contagious and can have serious complications, especially for certain high risk groups. Please stay informed about the current outbreak and recommendations for vaccinations.
What is measles?
Measles is an acute viral illness, transmitted by direct contact with infectious droplets or by airborne spread. After exposure (the incubation period can range from seven to 21 days), a prodromal syndrome of high fever, cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis is characteristic. Koplik spots (white or bluish-white spots on the buccal mucosa) may occur and then the development of the characteristic maculopapular rash, which typically spreads from the head to the trunk to the lower extremities, follows.
Complications of measles
- Otitis media
- Respiratory complications
- Neurologic complications
- Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE)
Who’s at risk for severe complications?
- Infants and children younger than five years; adults over 20
- Pregnant women
- Immunocompromised patients
Need-to-know information for nurses
- After appearance of the rash, infected patients should be isolated for four days in a single-patient airborne infection isolation room (AIIR).
- Measles is a reportable disease and local health departments should be notified within 24 hours of suspected measles cases.
- Routine childhood immunization for MMR vaccine starts with the first dose at 12-15 months of age, and the second dose at 4-6 years of age or at least 28 days after the first dose. (More vaccine schedules and information, including contraindications to vaccination, can be found here.)
Finerty, E. (2008). Did you say measles? American Journal of Nursing, 108(12).
Skehan, J. & Muller, L. (2014). Vaccinations: Eliminating Preventable Illness. Professional Case Management, 19 (6).
Wade, G. (2014). Nurses as Primary Advocates for Immunization Adherence. The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, 39 (6).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015, January 30). Measles (Rubeola): For Healthcare Professionals.
“The number one thing that a nurse can do is guard their integrity as if it is their most prized possession.” Jeff Doucette DNP, RN, FACHE, CENP, understands just how small the nursing community is. Regardless of where a nurse works, their actions and choices will follow them, he explains.
With a career like his, he should know. Doucette is currently the vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News, Va. He is an executive nurse fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as well as adjunct faculty in the DNP program at Old Dominion University. He is also the chairperson for Nursing Management Congress2015 and on the editorial advisory board for the Nursing Management journal.
This month, I had the opportunity to speak with Doucette, our next Nurse On the Move, and learn why integrity is a nurse’s most valuable asset. We also discussed why Lean management can improve healthcare, what Nursing Management Congress has planned this year, and what he sees for the future of nursing.
Listen for the whole interview...
*Do you know a great candidate to be featured for Nurses On the Move? We want to know about the nurses who are advancing the profession and inspiring others to do the same. We will feature a new nurse every month. Email your submissions to ClinicalEditor@NursingCenter.com.
Posted: 1/29/2015 7:20:50 PM
| with 0 comments
Here are the nursing recognition days, weeks, and months for the first half of 2015. Please leave a comment if you know of others so I can add them to our list! Thank you!
National IV Nurse Day January 25, 2015
National Nurse Anesthetists Week January 25-31, 2015
PeriAnesthesia Nurse Awareness Week February 2-8, 2015
Critical Care Transport Nurses Day February 18, 2015
Certified Nurses Day March 19, 2015
GI Nurses and Associates Week March 23-27, 2015
Transplant Nurses Day April 15, 2015
National Critical Care Awareness and Recognition Month May 2015
Oncology Nursing Month May 2015
National Nurses Week May 6-12, 2015 (National Nurses Day is May 6)
National School Nurse Day May 6, 2015
National Student Nurses Day May 8, 2015
International Nurses Day May 12, 2015
National Nursing Home Week May 10-17, 2015
Neuroscience Nurses Week May 17-23, 2015
Vascular Nursing Week June 7-13, 2015
38th Annual National Nursing Assistants Week June 11-18, 2015
Take some time to celebrate your hard work and be sure to recognize the work of your colleagues too!
Posted: 1/27/2015 12:04:30 PM
Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP
| with 0 comments
You’ve landed an interview for your dream job – congratulations! As you embark on this journey, keep the following recommendations in mind.
Become familiar with the organization and the position you are seeking. Use the facility’s website and other online resources, and talk to any employees you know. Think about how your skills and strengths will meet the needs of the employer and unit.
Think about your strengths and weaknesses. Write down your skills and experiences, as well as examples of your commitment to team collaboration and quality nursing.
Practice. If possible, ask someone to perform a mock interview with you. Be ready to answer questions, such as:
- Can you tell me a little about yourself?
- How did you learn about us? Why do you want to work for us?
- Can you tell me about your current/last job? Why are you leaving? What did you like most about that job? What would you change about that job?
- Did you ever have a disagreement with a manager?
- Can you tell me about your education and training?
- Can you give an example of a major problem you faced and how you solved it?
- What's your greatest strength? What’s your greatest weakness?
- Why did you choose to be a nurse?
- How do you handle your on-the-job stress?
- What do patients expect from nurses?
- What's the difference between mediocre and excellent when it comes to nursing care?
- How have you solved challenging nursing problems? Or, describe a challenging situation and how you managed it.
- How have you demonstrated your ability to perform as a team member and team player?
- What are your long-term goals in nursing?
As you prepare your answers for these questions, remember to focus on the positive, even when faced with a negative question. Be honest and keep your answers work- or project-related, rather than personal. For example, if asked about disagreements with leadership or a coworker, keep it positive by saying, "Sure, we disagreed at times, but we worked well together,” or make sure your example is a work-related one, such as a disagreement over a project due date, rather than a personal one.
Jot down your questions. Chances are, your interviewer will ask you if you have any questions and you probably will! Here are some things you may want to find out:
- What are the nurse/patient ratios for each shift?
- Can you please describe the orientation program?
- What's the career ladder program and policy?
- Are continuing-education (CE) programs available through the facility?
- What's the reimbursement policy for external CE programs, certification, or nursing classes?
- Will I be tested?
Today's the day!
Think carefully about the first impression you’ll be making. Get enough rest so you’ll be energized and fresh. Dress professionally – conservative is best – and avoid distracting jewelry, make-up or perfume/cologne. Don't smoke, smell of smoke, or chew gum.
Plan to arrive about 15 minutes before your interview. Bring multiple copies of your resume in case more than one person is participating in the interview. Your resume should be printed on crisp white paper for a professional presentation. Also, bring names and contact information for references and employment and education institutions. Turn off or silence your cell phone.
Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake while looking him or her in the eye, and continue to make eye contact with the interviewer during the interview. Throughout the interview, sit up straight, show interest, smile and speak clearly. Be yourself!
Listen carefully to questions asked and respond in an open, friendly manner. If a question is unclear, ask for clarification. Your answers should be complete, but concise.
As the interview process comes to a close, expect to learn the date when a decision is likely to be made and how you'll be notified. You can ask for this information if the interviewer doesn't mention it. In general, salary shouldn’t be discussed until a former offer has been made. Thank the interviewer and be sure to have his or her name and contact information.
Within 24 hours, send a thank-you letter or e-mail. Be sure to express your continued interest in the position. Use this opportunity to reinforce how and why you're qualified for the position.
Hathaway, L. (2005). Savvy answers to tough interview questions. Nursing2005, 35 (1).
Rosati, L. (2014). Strike gold when interviewing for your first nursing job. Nursing2014, 44 (5).
Smith, L. (2010). PROFESSIONAL GROWTH: Are you ready for your job interview? Nursing2010, 40 (4).