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Rapid Response

September 2019 Vol. 14 No. 9

Rapid recognition prevents patient harm.

Early recognition of bacterial meningitis decreases morbidity and mortality. 

Photophobia, nuchal rigidity (stiff neck), severe headache, fever, and confusion are all key clinical features that should lead nurses to suspect meningitis. 

JOHN JONES*, age 26, has had type 1 diabetes for 10 years. He . . .

April 2019 Vol. 14 No. 4

Quick thinking and anticipating treatment results in a good outcome.

Patients with sickle cell disease are at high risk for rapid deterioration. 
Strong nursing assessment skills can help identify early signs of patient decline. 

DAVID ROBERTS*, age 19, is admitted to your medical-surgical unit for management of a . . .

March 2019 Vol. 14 No. 3

What would you do in this situation?

Acute aspiration of tube feeding can result in a respiratory emergency
Know the signs and symptoms of tube feeding aspiration: increased blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate; decreased oxygen saturation; and new onset audible rhonchi and wheezes.

RACHEL JECKER*, age 28 . . .

February 2019 Vol. 14 No. 2

Critical thinking averts serious consequences.

Atelectasis is a serious postoperative pulmonary complication.
Risk factors include advanced age, obesity, upper abdominal or thoracic surgery, smoking history, reduced mobility, sedation, neuromuscular disorders, chronic lung disease, and pain with deep breathing.
Nurses should know how to prevent atelectasis and how to respond . . .

November 2018 Vol. 13 No. 11

Education may help avoid decompensation and escalation.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of bronchiolitis in children less than age 12 months.
RSV manifests as airway inflammation and mucous production leading to upper and lower airway obstruction.
Supportive care may include mucous clearance with nasopharyngeal suctioning . . .

October 2018 Vol. 13 No. 10

 Knowing what to assess and when can prevent a dangerous complication for older adults. 

Older adults are often prescribed psychotropic medications for a variety of conditions.
Certain classes of these medications can cause prolonged QT syndrome, which is especially dangerous in older adults with co-morbid heart conditions.

BETTY . . .

July 2018 Vol. 13 No. 7

Quick action results in a positive outcome.
By Debra A. Hrelic, PhD, RNC


In sepsis, tachycardia and tachypnea are a response to an increased metabolic rate and the body’s effort to sustain perfusion to the vital organs.
Chorioamnionitis is diagnosed when maternal fever is accompanied by a minimum . . .

June 2018 Vol. 13 No. 6

Quick action puts a patient on the path to recovery.

Isopropyl alcohol poisoning is uncommon and resembles ethanol intoxication because both toxins affect the central nervous system.
People ingest isopropyl alcohol to become intoxicated (when traditional alcohols aren’t available) or to harm themselves.
The presence of an anion . . .

May 2018 Vol. 13 No. 5

A nurse’s quick action prevents progression to septic shock.

Rapid and accurate identification of sepsis improves patient outcomes.
The source of infection may not always be obvious, and it’s the nurse’s role to investigate any unusual symptoms.
Not all patients present with sepsis the same way . . .

April 2018 Vol. 13 No. 4

Insulin administration requires close monitoring.

When administering insulin, closely monitor food intake and potential side effects including hypoglycemia.
Chronic kidney disease can alter insulin metabolism, adding another risk factor for hypoglycemia.

By Sandra Hladik, MSN, RN-BC

Robert Johnson,age 52, is admitted to the cardiac-renal unit. He . . .

March 2018 Vol. 13 No. 3

Quick action reverses SVT and prevents a disastrous outcome.

Atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter are the most common subtypes of supraventricular tachycardia, which is relatively common in women.
The treatment of choice for unstable patients is synchronized cardioversion.
For stable patients, initial treatment is a vagal maneuver, such as . . .

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