Education protects babies from HIV infection
"HIV: The Changing Epidemic" (January 2011)* raised important issues. As an RN focusing on women's health, I want to share some information about HIV-positive gravid patients. According to the CDC, early detection of HIV in these patients will allow for effective antiretroviral therapy to help prevent the transmission of HIV to the unborn child. This route of transmission has decreased by 93% in recent years.1
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We need to help these patients understand adverse reactions and encourage follow-up care so they'll continue taking their medications. With appropriate education from nurses, the transmission of this chronic disease from mother to child can be reduced.
-MELANIE TOCCI, RN
Nurses must define nursing
I agree with Doug Grimes, who opposes mandatory BSN degrees for nurses ("Don't Ignore What ADNs Bring to Nursing," Letters, March 2011). But we do need to further our education if nursing is to survive as a profession. In fact, we need more master's- and PhD-prepared nurses as well as BSNs. Education provides a broader understanding of nursing research, evidence-based practice, and the political and social issues directly affecting our profession and healthcare.
I started my career in nursing 25 years ago and have worked at every level-LNA, LPN, ADN-and I'm now two classes away from my BSN. My experience tells me that each of these roles is integral to nursing.
Now is the time to get involved in nursing organizations, lend our voices, support each other, and agree to disagree (but not publicly). If we don't define and validate nursing, others will do it for us.
-DEB CANTLIN, RN
Thanks for the memories
I've been subscribing to Nursing since 1976. Some articles stand out in my memory. One, about fat embolism, I read just before going to work. A visitor came out of her aunt's room, frantic, and said loudly, "My aunt isn't acting right!!" The patient, who was recovering from a fractured hip, was disoriented, febrile, and had a petechial rash.
I advised her primary nurse to immediately notify the patient's healthcare provider, as I suspected fat embolism. The patient was quickly transferred to the ICU. Thank you for all the years of wonderful clinical information you've given me.
-CAROL SKILLING, BSN, RN