From the Editor
This month’s topic is surgical site infections (SSI) and we provide some professional resources and videos below for you to learn from.Coincidentally, last week I ran across a fascinating, though non-scientific, article that appeared in The New Yorker on March 4, 2013, Hands Across America by David Owen. It tells the tale of the emergence of hand sanitizer and its expanding role, not just in health care but in many settings in our modern world.
Our featured Student Profile is Kristen Barklow, NP.
You’ll also find our latest collection of RNFA jobs and some favorite resources. Enjoy!
In 1847, Ignaz Semmelweis noticed that women in the hospital where he worked in Vienna were more likely to die in childbirth if their attending physicians had come directly from performing autopsies. He imposed a hand-sanitation regime at the hospital and childbirth mortality rates plummeted, but the broader medical community rejected his ideas.
It wasn’t until the 1860s that Joseph Lister, a British surgeon, pioneered sterile surgery based on Louis Pasteur’s work on the germ theory of disease.
Great progress has been made in preventing surgical site infections (SSI) since then, but according to a January 2014 report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “SSIs remain a substantial cause of morbidity, prolonged hospitalization, and death. SSI is associated with a mortality rate of 3%, and 75% of SSI-associated deaths are directly attributable to the SSI.”
Yet the majority of SSIs are preventable.
One of the tactics being employed by CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network infection tracking system is surveillance. “Surveillance of SSI with feedback of appropriate data to surgeons has been shown to be an important component of strategies to reduce SSI risk,” the CDC report states. “A successful surveillance program includes the use of epidemiologically-sound infection definitions and effective surveillance methods, stratification of SSI rates according to risk factors associated with SSI development, and data feedback.”
And So Should You!
Earlier this month, an ER nurse at New York Presbyterian Hospital was fired after seven years in the ER for posting a photo to Instagram.According to a story by Liz Neporent on ABC News, the photo was of a messy but vacant trauma room in which a man had been treated after being hit by a subway train. “[This nurse] is certainly not the first medical professional to get herself into trouble on social media,” Neporent states, citing a few other cases. Read more and see the news video here.
Student Status: Current Student
City and State: New Brighton, MN
Current Job: Neurosurgical NP, Fairview Southdale Hospital, Edina, MN
I became an RN because I wanted to help people and have always been fascinated with medicine and health care. I liked the holistic nature of nursing and found it to be a good fit.
I have a two-year ASN from Normandale Community College (Bloomingdale, MN), completed my BSN at Metropolitan State University (St. Paul, MN) and my MSN/NP in Los Angeles at UCLA.
The Neurosurgical position that I currently hold did not require an RNFA, but in researching my NP job description and the role of an RNFA, I decided that it would provide me with a valuable skill set that I would use on the job.