1. Section Editor(s): Falivene, Chloe MA

Article Content

I can hardly believe this is already our last issue for 2017! As the Year of the Healthy Nurse comes to a close, we are reminded by the American Nurses Association to focus on work-life balance, and the campaign's themes for November and December: wellness and a healthy holiday season.1

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These are not revolutionary aspirations. In fact, physical health, mental health, and healthy eating are almost omnipresent concerns, especially for those of us with stressful, fast-paced jobs. But that doesn't make them easy to attain; more often, they can be difficult to achieve, and even sources of guilt. So I hope you'll join with me and pledge to finish the year strong. Take strides to support your mental health, and take time during the holiday season to recharge with loved ones... or whatever it takes!


The content in this issue is much like the Healthy Nurse challenge: not revolutionary per se, but foundational and refreshing. In these pages, you'll find updates and new perspectives about common elements of critical care: rapid response teams (p. 16), and massive blood transfusion protocols (p. 24). And speaking of recharging, our cover story, Animal-assisted therapy and activities in the critical care setting, by Susan M. Rugari, PhD, RN, CNS, Cheryl L. Hunter, MSN, RN, and B. Michele Carswell, MSN, RN (p. 32), reviews the literature to persuasively argue why and how our furry friends should play a role in healing and care, even for high-acuity patients.


We also begin a several-part series on serum electrolytes with a feature on Potassium (p. 6). Future articles will address magnesium, calcium and phosphate, sodium and chloride, and bicarbonate, with accompanying background material and all the latest evidence-based information you need to refresh your knowledge.


At times, our department topics this issue will challenge and motivate you. Our Tech Talk article, written by experienced educators Sarah Clark, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, CHSE and Belinda Hammond, MSN, RN, CCRN, takes a comprehensive look at simulation, and how to ensure new and experienced nurses get the most they can out of this innovative learning experience (p. 45). In our latest Innovations article, Lisa Lynn, MSN, RN, CCRN, and Joseph Brookes, MSN, RN, set out to change nurse perceptions of physical restraint use in their ICU (p. 41). And for Pearls this month, we are reminded of the importance of looking out for each other, even if it means facing some hard truths about the nursing profession (p. 48).


I hope you have time to enjoy 2017 to the fullest between now and the New Year-Nursing Critical Care's 13th year!-and as always, thank you for reading. We'll see you in 2018!



1. American Nurses Association. 2017 Year of the Healthy Nurse. 2017. [Context Link]


Chloe Falivene, MA