Category Archives: Professional Nursing

HOMEMADE cloth masks: The good, the bad, & the Ugly

So I’ve been pretty skeptical about people sewing protective face masks at home. And, as with a lot of things we don’t have all the data that we wish we had. So…I’m putting this scientific evidence out there and encouraging you to contribute to this blog by adding other scientific data.

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Here is a 2015 randomized controlled trial (RCT) data: Penetration of cloth masks by particles was almost 97% and medical masks 44%. (N = 1607 HCW > 18 years).

Nevertheless, the expert opinion at CDC is that they are in the “Better Than Nothing” category and gives this additional advice. “In settings where N95 respirators are so limited that routinely practiced standards of care for wearing N95 respirators and equivalent or higher level of protection respirators are no longer possible, and surgical masks are not available, as a last resort, it may be necessary for HCP to use masks that have never been evaluated or approved by NIOSH or homemade masks. It

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may be considered to use these masks for care of patients with COVID-19, tuberculosis, measles, and varicella. However, caution should be exercised when considering this option.1,2

Anecdotally, providers are using them to extend the life of other masks or N95s. Women are also making some with little pockets for other filters, and a material called HANIBON that can be purchased online is used often on the outer layer of disposable masks and works to block out dust and fluids from entering. 

References

  1. Dato, VM, Hostler, D, and Hahn, ME. Simple Respiratory Maskexternal iconEmerg Infect Dis. 2006;12(6):1033–1034.
  2. Rengasamy S, Eimer B, and Shaffer R. Simple respiratory protection-evaluation of the filtration performance of cloth masks and common fabric materials against 20-1000 nm size particlesexternal iconAnn Occup Hyg. 2010;54(7):789-98.

“Sew” there you have it. Expert opinion is that as a last resort you may use inadequately tested cloth masks if it is all you have. I am grateful for all those sewists out there responding to medical center calls to supply them with cotton and elastic homemade masks, and sending out the patterns to do so. Field medicine.

CDC also says “The filters used in modern surgical masks and respirators are considered “fibrous” in nature—constructed from flat, nonwoven mats of fine fibers” If this is true then would nonwoven interfacing undefinedimprove the homemade masks?

Missing in Action: The Pyramid foundation

Last post I commented on the potentially misleading terms of Filtered & Unfiltered Filtered Unfiltered jpgresearch.  My key point?  Much so-called “unfiltered research” has been screened (filtered) carefully through peer-review before publication; while some “filtered research”  may have been ‘filtered’ only by a single expert & be out of date. If we use the terms filtered and unfiltered we should not be naive about their meanings. (Pyramid source:  Wikimedia Commons )

This week, I address what I see as a 2nd problem with this evidence based medicine pyramid.  That is, missing in action from it are descriptive, correlation, & in-depth qualitative research are not mentioned.  Where are they?  This undercuts the EBM pyramid as a teaching tool and also (intentionally or not) denigrates the necessary basic type of research on which stronger levels of evidence are built.  That foundation of the pyramid, called loosely “background information,” includes such basic, essential research.

Ask an ExpertYou may have heard of Benner’s Novice to Expert  theory.  Benner used in-depth, qualitative interview descriptions as data to generate her theory.  Yet that type of research evidence is missing from medicine’s pyramid!  Without a clear foundation the pyramid will just topple over.  Better be clear!

I recommend substituting (or at least adding to your repertoire) an Evidence Based NURSING (EBN) pyramid.  Several versions exist & one is below that includes some of the previously missing research!  This one includes EBP & QI projects, too! Notice the explicit addition of detail to the below pyramid as described at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfRbuzzKjcM.EBN

Critical thinking:  #1List some EBM & EBN pyramid differences.  #2 Figure out where on the hierarchy this project would go: Crowell, J., OʼNeil, K., & Drager, L. (2017). Project HANDS: A bundled approach to increase short peripheral catheter dwell time. Journal of Infusion Nursing, 40(5), 274-280. doi: 10.1097/NAN.0000000000000237.   1st use medicine’s EBM pyramid; & then 2nd use nursing’s EBN pyramid.  #3 Label Crowell et al.’s study as filtered or unfiltered and explain what you mean by that.

For more info:  Watch the YouTube video at the link above.

Nightingale: Avante garde in meaningful data

In honor of Nurse Week, I offer this tribute to the avante garde research work of Florence Nightingale in the Crimea that saved lives and set a precedent worth following.

Nightingale was a “passionate statistician” knowing that outcome data are convincing when one wants to change the world.  She did not merely collect the data, but also documented it in a way that revealed its critical meaning for care.

As noted by John H. Lienhard (1998-2002): Nightingale coxcombchart“Once you see Nightingale’s graph, the terrible picture is clear. The Russians were a minor enemy. The real enemies were cholera, typhus, and dysentery. Once the military looked at that eloquent graph, the modern army hospital system was inevitable.  You and I are shown graphs every day. Some are honest; many are misleading….So you and I could use a Florence Nightingale today, as we drown in more undifferentiated data than anyone could’ve imagined during the Crimean War.” (Source: Leinhard, 1998-2002)

As McDonald (2001) writes in the BMJ free, full-text,  Nightingale was “a systemic thinker and a “passionate statistician.”  She insisted on improving care by making policy & care decisions based on “the best available government statistics and expertise, and the collection of new material where the existing stock was inadequate.”(p.68)

Moreover, her display of the data brought its message home through visual clarity!

Thus while Nightingale adhered to some well-accepted, but mistaken, scientific theories of the time (e.g., miasma) her work was superb and scientific in the best sense of the word.   We could all learn from Florence.

CRITICAL THINKING:   What issue in your own practice could be solved by more data?  How could you collect that data?   If you have data already, how can you display it so that it it meaningful to others and “brings the point home”?

FOR MORE INFO:

HAPPY NURSE WEEK TO ALL MY COLLEAGUES.  

MAY YOU GO WHERE THE DATA TAKES YOU!

 

 

It was the best of evidence; it was the worst of evidence.

evidencebased practiceEvidence-based practice = best available evidence + expert clinical judgment + patient & family values/preferences.

When clinicians diagnose & treat based on outdated or inadequate knowledge, then outcomes are at best uncertain.  The internet itself is a poor information source; & colleagues may be no more up-to-date that you.

Good sources are the world-wide Cochrane Collaboration and the specific evidence-based Homepractice journals that are beginning to grow–these take best information from the research report all the way through clinical recommendations.   For research reports per se, PubMed is a comprehensive, U.S. tax-supported Findingsdatabase; & there when you find information that fits using your key search terms, you can also look for related articles & get full-text through interlibrary loan or online.  Another strategy is take the article that fits your clinical issue to your librarian, and ask for help in finding more research on the identical clinical issue.

While no one can read everything in the literature, everyone can read something. You can do a focused review on any particular problem.

Critical thinking:  Is there a clinical issue that you think could use a better solution?  Plug related words into PubMed & see what you can learn.question

For more information see fulltext at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC226388/

!!Here they come to save the day!! Toolbox to move from paper to practice

toolsOk, so you found some GREAT, new & improved clinical guidelines that exactly fit the problem that you are trying to solve on your unit.   Now What???   How do you get from the guidelines from paper to practice?  & How do you know that the guidelines are any good any way?   Where are the tools for all this?MightyMouse

Like the old cartoon Mighty Mouse, here comes the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario to save the day!  (cue the music)   You can download a FREE toolkit.  Yes, that’s right.  FREE.

It comes complete with examples & step-by-step instructions.  Check it out!   And if I haven’t been persuasive enough, here’s the table of contents!   This is waaay cooool.  Don’t miss it.

For more info here’s the site to downloadhttp://rnao.ca/bpg/resources/toolkit-implementation-best-practice-guidelines-second-edition

RNAO toolkit download

ZIKA: Evidence-based clinical guidelines to prevent sexual transmission

As  you probably know Zika is already causing problems in an area outside of Miami, FL. CDC has taken the unusual step of issuing a travel warning there. 16743-close-up-of-a-mosquito-feeding-on-blood-pv

Accurate clinician and patient information in the U.S. will become more critical, and your advice to others could save lives as the disease spreads.

imagesCALQ0QK9Some of the best evidence on what to teach is from CDC.  These experts have reviewed the best available literature and developed these clear  evidence-based clinical guidelines to
prevent sexual transmission of Zika
.  Such evidence-based guidelines are considered very STRONG evidence--some of the strongest out there!! (For more see: “I like my “I like my coffee (and my evidence) strong!”)

Note that I point out, as do they, that these guidelines are based on the best available evidence which continues to evolve.  (It wasn’t that long ago when experts denied that Zika could be sexually transmitted.  Now we know better.)

what so what what nextScientific evidence is not static. It is dynamic and ever evolving.  This is not a problem with science, but is part of its very nature–that of discovery.

Why this matters: Clinicians should continue to educate all patients about ZIKV sexual transmission risk, to conduct testing for all persons with possible sexual exposure, and to report all cases of ZIKV to local health authorities” (CDC, 2016).

Critical thinking: How might you use this information at work or with the broader public?question

For more information: Check out CDC Zika Virus webpage 

 

Zika Virus: What we know and do not know (O’Malley, 2016)

The public and lots of nurses have lots of questions.   Our evidence-based knowledge is evolving.  Here’s some of the latest (Aug/July 2016).

You can set up a free account with Lippincott to access this 3 page article that translates current research into practice for you.

O’Malley – Zika virus: What we know and do not know: 16743-close-up-of-a-mosquito-feeding-on-blood-pvhttp://www.nursingcenter.com/pdfjournal?AID=3570052&an=00002800-201607000-00005&Journal_ID=54033&Issue_ID=3569996

Strong nursing leadership is essential to evidence-based practice

priority“The Institute of Medicine (IOM) set a goal that, by 2020, the majority of healthcare practices and decisions would be evidence-based.Yet…only three percent of the executive-level nurse leaders surveyed ranked EBNP as a top priority at their own organizations. What’s worse, more than half said EBNP is practiced at their organizations only “somewhat” or “not at all.”  Posted on July 19, 2016HTimothy  at American Sentinel.   

For full text see the source link: http://www.americansentinel.edu/blog/2016/07/19/strong-nursing-leadership-is-essential-to-evidence-based-practice/

Critical Thinking: Given all the demands of the healthcare questionenvironment, how can we make this goal happen.   

Who ya gonna call? Myth Busters!!

MYTH: There is no real payoff in engaging  patients and families.

FACT:  Health care organizations can reap many benefits fromMythBUSted
“activated” patients and families – those who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to manage their own care.

How does engaging patients help?   1) It may increase quality of life by reducing falls, helping patients learn to manage chronic conditions. 2) It can reduce Underuse or Overuse of health services. 3) It may increases reimbursement through improved HCAHPS scores.  And YOU may be more satisfied at work!

TWO EXAMPLES of positive results yielded from partnering with patients and families:
• One hospital that began involving patients and families in safety efforts after a highly publicized preventable death saw a culture shift that improved medication reconciliation and eliminated fatal medication errors during a 10-year period (Johnson & Abraham; Reinersten et al., 2008).
Satisfaction• A health system that began seeking input from patients and families decreased nurse turnover from 15 percent to 5 percent in three years and improved patient, staff and physician satisfaction (Johnson & Abraham).

WHAT CAN I DO TO ENGAGE PATIENTS?  Listen to your patients to identify their level of activation in their care as described, & communicate in ways that move them to the nextNURSEPatient level.

  • At stage 1, people do not yet grasp that they must play an active role in their own
    health, they may still believe that they can just be a passive recipient of care….
  • At stage 2, people may lack the basic facts or have not connected the facts into a larger understanding about their health or recommended health regimens….
  • At stage 3, people have the key facts and are beginning to take action but may lack confidence and skill to support new behaviors….
  • At stage 4, people have adopted new behaviors but may not be able to maintain them in the face of life stress or health crises.”  [source: Hibbard et al. at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1955271/]

mythVStruth

FOR MORE INFO, check out the source of above:  Busting the Myths about Engaging Patients and Families in Patient Safetyquestion

CRITICAL THINKING: Think of a strategy that you ALREADY use or that you might start using to move patients up the stages of engagement in their own care. Be specific!

“What Difference Does it Make?” Plenty when it comes to Posters!

Congratulations—You and your team have completed a project!   

Now what?   Disseminate your work of course so that others can learn.  A poster is a great way to do this. Dissemination is a key step in research & evidence-based practice.  

But how should you present the information on your poster?  To quote a well-known
politician:  “What difference does it make”
how you hILARYpresent your  project in a poster.   Quite a bit, it turns out!   Some posters are definitely better than others.

For your poster you want to realize that you are dealing with a VISUAL medium, not text.  This means that you need:

  • A CLEAR FOCUS on the key ideas & results
  • CONTENT THAT FLOWS. You want to make sure the reader is guided through the poster–maybe by numbering steps or adding arrows.
  • Enough “WHITE SPACE” that the readers eye has time to “rest” and that draws attention to your focus. (e.g., think “Got Milk?” in bold white letters on a black background.  White space =any color blank space.)
  • USE VISUAL Employ short phrases, bullet points, active voice, and graphics that take advantage of the visual medium.   Some people say 50% should be graphics.

 

OK

For example, let’s look at 3 different ways that you could present your pretend research study on RN attitudes to electronic health records (EHR).   The NOVICE POSTER-MAKER may put the following on their poster:

“RN attitudes toward the new electronic health record were examined in a pretest, and class was taught on how to use the electronic health record.   After the class a posttest of their attitudes was conducted.”

The above example has several problems!  It is in passive voice.  It has too many extra words.  It is plain text and not the visual. It doesn’t give results. Is someone going to stand there and read your poster like an article?  Nope.  You need to make it different!

To make a difference, TRY THIS SOLUTION to present the same information as bullet point phrases:

Better?

  • Key variable: RN attitudes toward electronic health record (EHR)
  • Pretest of RN attitudes to EHR
  • Class on improved use
  • Posttest of RN attitudes toward EHR showed improvement (p<.05)

 

Best?

OR PERHAPS TO MAKE AN EVEN BETTER DIFFERENCE—KEEP IT REALLY VISUAL, WITH FLOW AND FOCUS (using graphics when possible instead of words)Poster graphic

So….“What difference does it make?”   You decide!

For more information:  Check out http://www.evergreen.edu/scicomp/docs/workshops/Poster_Tips2.pdf or do a quick search for other poster making tips.  There is LOTS of good info out there.

Critical Thinking:   QUESTIONCritique this poster or another using the “60 second poster evaluation” at http://dept-wp.nmsu.edu/nmsuhhmi/files/2013/06/60-Second-Poster-Evaluation.pdfIMG_0834