1. Section Editor(s): McKinney, Haley

Article Content

This month, I received a thoughtful Letter to the Editor reminding us of the importance of empathy. The writer gave the example that increased empathy for patients might drive nurses to transition patients from the ED to an empty hospital bed on the unit as fast and efficiently as possible. This is an excellent sentiment. Remember that each time you interact with a patient or someone in their family is a chance to influence that patient's experience and opinion of your hospital. Empathy is crucial to providing the best-possible patient care.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

It is easy to forget how overwhelming an ED or ICU can be to an outsider, but for a patient with a serious health disorder or undergoing a major surgery or procedure, the hospital can be an especially intimidating place. Always try your best to ease your patient's anxiety, as they are surely going through a challenging time in their life.


The business side of healthcare demands more empathy in nursing, too. Increased emphasis on Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey ratings means that patient experiences can have a greater impact on hospital reimbursements. In today's complex healthcare environment, every healthcare facility needs all the financial resources available.


Our content this month reminds nurses of some serious health problems that might bring a patient to the critical care unit.


Acquired autoimmune thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura is a life-threatening hematologic disease in which a delay in treatment can be fatal. Acquired autoimmune thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (p. 22) reviews this disorder's signs and symptoms, diagnostic studies, nursing considerations, and more.


Because critical care nurses, like any other civilian, may one day encounter the victims of a mass shooting, whether on the unit or outside the hospital, a familiarity with evidence-based guidelines may be crucial for survival. Mass shootings: A call for nursing awareness and action (p. 14) provides the latest mass shooting statistics in the US, best practice recommendations for nurses responding to these events, and lessons learned from hospitals that have already navigated this type of emergency.


Staying fully attuned to patients' feelings while not succumbing to burnout is challenging, but keep the patient experience at the forefront of your mind. Put yourself in their shoes, and consider how you would want to be treated if you needed serious medical care.


Haley McKinney

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

Associate Editor Nursing2018 Critical Care Health Learning, Research & Practice Wolters Kluwer Philadelphia, PA