Never stop learning
In the hospital where I work, we're beginning to see endovascular surgeries performed. As I began looking for information on these procedures, I was pleasantly surprised to find "Understanding Endovascular Aneurysm Repair" (September, 2012).* This article was very helpful and timely for my practice as an ICU nurse. It provided a description of aneurysms, risk factors, and diagnostic techniques. The sections of the article that explained how the surgery is performed and the post-op care needed were particularly helpful. Thank you for your attention to new procedures and issues that are important to us at the bedside.
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Do your fellow nurses have your back?
Back injuries in nurses are largely preventable by safe patient handling (SPH) policies and programs requiring use of modern patient lift equipment. SPH programs are gaining momentum, and some states have passed laws mandating SPH to prevent injuries to both nurses and patients.
Military, fire, and police demonstrate profound care for each other with their signature practice, "never leave a fallen comrade behind." In contrast, our national nurse leadership has yet to issue an endorsement of support for retention of nurses disabled by unsafe manual patient lifting, which I call "forced hazardous lifting."
I believe nursing, called the "most caring" profession, can do better. Nurses, get involved with your organization's SPH program. Promote retention of back-disabled nurses in permanent nonlifting nurse positions. Petition local, state, and national nurse leadership to issue an endorsement of support for retention of back-disabled nurses. Remember it's the nurse's back that's disabled, not his or her brain.
I cried when I read the beautifully written article, "The Mule" (November, 2012),* about an older woman who died while acting as a drug courier to help support her impoverished family. I cried for the obvious reasons: the loss of life and the sacrifice the mother made to raise money for her daughter's medical treatment. But I also cried for what was left behind-a family struggling medically, emotionally, and financially with a loved one suffering from cancer, left without a mother. The family had to put together a funeral for their loved one-a funeral made necessary because of this mother's selfless sacrifice.
-Debra Banks, BSN, CCRN
New Bern, N.C.
-Anne Hudson, BSN, RN
Coos Bay, Ore.
-Bina Simon, RN
* Individual subscribers can access articles free online at http://www.nursing2013.com.