Infection Control Nurse

Infection Control Nurse

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Infection Control Nurses, sometimes-called infection prevention nurses, help prevent patient infections in hospitals and clinics. They instruct other nurses and health care staff on proper sanitation procedures; they also study patients’ bacteria to identify any infections that may have possibly resulted from a patient's health care. Infection control nurses are usually the ones responsible for notifying the closest branch of the Centers for Disease Control.

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Infection Control Nurses, sometimes-called infection prevention nurses, help prevent patient infections in hospitals and clinics. They instruct other nurses and health care staff on proper sanitation procedures; they also study patients’ bacteria to identify any infections that may have possibly resulted from a patient's health care. Infection control nurses are usually the ones responsible for notifying the closest branch of the Centers for Disease Control.

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  • Ebola's Arrival Forced Open the Door on Nursing Ethics

    Posted Dec 13, 2014 by Adam Burkhart

    The following is excerpted from the upcoming issue of Johns Hopkins Nursing magazine:

    On Oct. 16, when a nurse from a Texas hospital took to the national media to decry unsafe conditions for workers exposed to the Ebola virus, the echoes carried all the way to Baltimore, to ethics professor Cynda Hylton Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN, and, she hopes, to the student nurses makin...

    Read More

    The following is excerpted from the upcoming issue of Johns Hopkins Nursing magazine:

    On Oct. 16, when a nurse from a Texas hospital took to the national media to decry unsafe conditions for workers exposed to the Ebola virus, the echoes carried all the way to Baltimore, to ethics professor Cynda Hylton Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN, and, she hopes, to the student nurses making their way toward tomorrow’s front lines.

    There was what Dallas nurse Briana Aguirre asserted: that nurses had been left unprotected and unprepared to fulfill an ethical mandate to treat any patient, no matter the diagnosis. But perhaps most important was that Aguirre had the courage to “speak up and speak out,” says Rushton, who is the Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics. This is an obligation that can be difficult to embrace amid a swirl of technological demands, understaffing, an aging population with more complex chronic conditions, and pressures to make care more efficient and less costly.

    That it took Ebola’s arrival in the United States to trigger such a moment is not lost on Rushton, founding member and core faculty of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. Nor was it a big surprise.

    How to deal with the fear, finger-pointing, and rush to judgment that all featured so prominently in Texas had already been put forward for discussion as Rushton gathered a team of national nurse leaders in Baltimore in August for the first-of-its-kind National Nursing Ethics Summit. The idea was to debate these and other aspects of nursing ethics ahead of a push by the American Nurses Association (ANA) to revisit and clarify its own Code of Ethics, a framework for the conscientious caregiver.

    “For many reasons, the environments in which nurses work are changing rapidly, yet one core principle holds constant: nurses’ desire to serve their patients, families, and communities while fulfilling nursing values,” says the resulting Blueprint for 21st Century Nursing Ethics. It seeks “organizational arrangements and work designs that enhance the practice of nursing and create for the next generation the chance to fulfill their desire to have meaningful careers in service to others.”

    The report is a road map, and Rushton admits that there are miles to go before healthcare systems (and nurses) can sleep.

    Without fail, nurses join the profession to help heal the sick or injured. But ethical dilemmas on the job can create a chasm between nurse and patient, affect the level of care, and even drive frustrated caregivers from the field or to throw up their hands and “go along to get along.” These dilemmas can be as seemingly mundane as bean counting and as fraught as risking peer scorn and employment status by speaking up when patient care doesn’t measure up.

    There are disagreements with the course of care, pain management, a sharp increase in dementia cases, decisions to end life, respectfully caring for those with diverse backgrounds and rituals, workplace hierarchies or red tape, worker shortages, legal uncertainty, privacy rules, and fatigue.

    Or perhaps, in the case of Ebola, there is the notion of performing herculean tasks—at the risk of personal health—to resuscitate patients or to save their failing kidneys when death appears likely anyway.

    “Ever since Florence Nightingale took it upon herself to care for the sick and the wounded in the Crimean War in the 1850s, nurses have proven their value and their valor where care is most daunting and risky,” wrote dean Patricia M. Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN, in an op-ed for the Baltimore Sun as first reports of nurse deaths from Ebola in West Africa reached the U.S. “We were never promised it would be easy, or safe. They didn’t tell us that because nurses don't wait to be told. We are called, we act, and we save lives.”

    Nevertheless, tacit in that caregiving pact is the understanding that such brave souls will be protected at all costs.

    READ MORE: Ebolas Arrival Forced Open the Door on Nursing Ethics

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  • Wall post by Cam Brown

    Posted Dec 10, 2014 by Adam Burkhart

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