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hypoglycemia diabetes management

Hypoglycemia: An unwelcome companion to effective diabetes management

Tailor your assessment, prevention, and treatment to individual patient needs and risks. Takeaways: Hypoglycemia places people with diabetes at risk for injury and prevents them from achieving their diabetes management goals.  Informed RNs can improve patient outcomes...

Improving nurses’ attitudes toward patients with substance use disorders

Editor’s note: The author uses substance use disorder as a diagnostic term. However, some of the research he cites uses a different term, such as drug addiction or drug misuse. In those cases, to ensure an accurate description of the study,...

How to help patients live with liver failure

A life-threatening condition, liver failure results from liver damage. In many cases, the damage is gradual and silent, causing few symptoms until the organ loses all of its functions. Liver failure can be acute or take the form of chronic liver disease (CLD),...

Frailty syndrome: A weakly addressed problem

Fran Covington, age 82, has a history of cardiovascular disease, chronic diastolic heart failure, type 2 diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). She lives at home with her husband and enjoys gardening and visiting with her grandchildren. Like Mrs. Covington, Myrna Wilson is...

How you can avoid laboratory errors

YOU MIGHT be wondering: Since when do nurses make laboratory errors? Actually, we make them fairly often—typically by using improper technique when collecting and handling samples and specimens. Preanalytic errors (those occurring before the sample or specimen is analyzed) account for 60% to...

Caring for patients with lumbar drains

A LUMBAR DRAIN is a small, flexible tube placed in the arachnoid space to drain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Indications for lumbar drains include: • to drain CSF leakage secondary to a traumatic or postoperative dural fistula • to treat...
Human trafficking

Human trafficking: Preparing for a unique patient population

In most ways, human trafficking (modern slavery) is no different from slavery of ancient times: It’s a brutal, highly profitable business with no regard for its victims. As nurses, to grasp the impact we...
radiation dermatitis

Understanding radiation dermatitis

According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 1.6 million new cases of cancer will have been diagnosed in the United States in 2015. During the course of their disease, most cancer patients receive...
Research

How to evaluate qualitative research

Editor’s note: This article is a follow-up to “Understanding qualitative research,” published in the July issue of American Nurse Today. Have you ever told someone a story and then later heard the listener retell it...
SIDS

Good night, baby…sleep safely

For more than 20 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has encouraged everyone to place infants on their backs to sleep to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The National Institute of...
CRE

Protected: CRE: Not your average multidrug-resistant organisms

Over the past decade, one family of multidrug-resistant organisms, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), has become increasingly resistant to lifesaving antibiotics. While CRE infection poses little threat to healthy persons, it can be deadly for at-risk...
Second victim

The second victim experience: Mitigating the harm

Like most nurses, you probably consider yourself emotionally strong and resilient, with defenses that help you “get the job done” through­out your busy shift. But if a patient under your watch experiences an unanticipated...
Asthma

Understanding asthma pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management

A chronic inflammatory airway disorder, asthma is marked by airway hyperresponsiveness with recurrent episodes of wheezing, coughing, tightness of the chest, and shortness of breath. Typically, these episodes are associated with airflow obstruction that...