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Volume I, Issue 5
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The Student Nurse Advisor - Volume I, Issue 5 - June 25, 2001

The Student Nurse Advisor

The #1 E-Zine for Nursing Students!

Welcome to the June, 2001 issue of The Student Nurse Advisor, your first source
for nursing articles, topical news and student resources!

Special Report:  Ethics In Nursing
Best Practice News:
Feature Articles:
Regular Features:

 SPECIAL REPORT:  Ethics in Nursing

NOTE:  To read the full article, click on the title.

 Bioethics for Beginners
Medical Ethics or Bioethics, study of moral issues in the fields of medical treatment and research. The term is also sometimes used more generally to describe ethical issues in the life sciences and the distribution of scarce medical resources.

 Nursing, Ethics & The Law
Ohio State University
This interactive online presentation gives an indepth look at the many ethical issues in nursing and where the law stands on each of these contemporary dilemmas.

 Ethical Case Studies in Nursing
Northern Arizona University
Six case studies in nursing ethics with discussion questions.  While these case studies are part of a group project for NAU's nursing program, they are good cases to ponder while evaluating your own feelings on ethical dilemmas you will face in the nursing profession.

 Strategies for Resolving Ethical Problems
Ethical Nurse
This overview covers strategies used by nurses in clinical practice and those recommended in nursing literature.

 "ER" Bioethics Project
The "ER" Bioethics Project was developed by the University of Pennsylvania in cooperation with the producers of television's highest rated drama, ER. Because the show strives for a realistic portrayal of many of the ethical and social challenges of contemporary medicine, it is a wonderful vehicle for reflection upon some of the most serious bioethical issues society faces. When is it permissible to withdraw life support? How should we train physicians? How should physicians deal with the ethical dilemmas posed by managed care and the new economic realities hospitals face?  Each week a different student in UPenn's Master's program in bioethics (with help from appropriate faculty) writes a short essay on one of the most significant bioethical issues in that episode.  Previous essays maintained online cover racism in medicine, treatment of minors for STDs, presumed consent, breaking confidentiality and more!


NOTE:  To read the full article, click on the title.

 Vital Signs
Joanna Briggs Institute
Patient observations are an important part of nursing care in that they allow the patient's progress to be monitored and also ensure prompt detection of adverse events or delayed recovery. Patient observations, or vital signs, traditionally consist of blood pressure, temperature, pulse rate and respiratory rate. A systematic review was recently conducted addressing issues such as the purpose of vital signs, the optimal frequency with which they should be conducted, what observations constitute vital signs and to identify issues related to the individual measures of temperature, pulse rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure.  This Best Practice Information Sheet summarises current best evidence on the topic.

 Reducing Medication Errors
Massachussetts Association for the Prevention of Medical Errors
In 1997, the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors launched a statewide initiative to improve patient safety and reduce medical errors. The goals of the Coalition are to exchange knowledge and information about the causes of medical errors and develop strategies for prevention. In addition, the Coalition promotes collaboration among organizations to enhance patient safety and increase awareness of error prevention strategies through public and professional education.
The Coalition's first initiative - the prevention of medication errors - is based on the Massachusetts Hospital Association's (MHA) medication error prevention project. A consensus group was convened by MHA and the Coalition to develop a set of principles and best practice recommendations for use by hospitals with different resources, needs, and capabilities. Consensus group participants included nurses, physicians, pharmacists, and administrators representing 20 hospitals of different sizes from around the state.

 Joints in Motion: Care Across the Continuum for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement
Best Practice Network
Hospitals today are in the era of continuous quality improvement, customer satisfaction and patient focused care. Care is so complex and variable from patient to patient that if essential components of care are not "blue printed," they are either forgotten or not done on time. As a result, patient satisfaction and outcomes are jeopardized. In November of 1996, the Total Joint Replacement Enhancement Team of one hospital was created to address fragmentation and variability in care across the continuum with the total hip and knee patient population.


NOTE:  To read the full article, click on the title

 Two-Step Dosage Calculations
Nursing Library
Most dosage calculations require more than one equation. For example, a health care provider may order a drug in tablet, capsule, or liquid form in grains, but it may be available only in milligrams. When this happens, you need to convert from one measurement system to another before deciding how much medication to administer.  This article takes a look at performing two-step dosage calculations.

 Study Skills
Sam Houston State University
The majority of college success is due to motivation and time management. Effective time management will allow adequate time for school as well as a family/social life or free time to do the activities that you most enjoy. The articles in this online resouce guide offer ideas and tools to help you manage your time more wisely, including motivation, problem areas & suggestions, reading effectiveness, improving memory and general study hints.

 Pain - The Fifth Vital Sign
Anne Arundel Medical Center
All doctors, nurses and health care workers know the four vital signs well. It's part of the daily routine to check blood pressure, pulse, respiratory and temperature for every patient. These measurements act as a barometer for a patient's health and are recorded on patient charts as reference for treatment. If the temperature is high, find out why and provide a fever reducer; if the lungs are congested, start looking for the cause. Health care workers also look at a fifth vital sign - pain - as a measure of a patient's well-being. That might seem obvious. If someone is in pain, something is wrong. But there is no thermometer or stethoscope to measure pain. So how to measure it? When and how often to check it? How to treat it best?


Drug Calculation Quiz Shareware Program for Nurses
Review by Stephanie Thibeault, The Student Nurse Forum

This is a nifty program created by Richard Lakeman for those of you struggling with drug calculations.  Drug Calculations for Nurses generates drug calculation quiz questions relating to metric conversions, tablet dosages, fluid dosages, intravenous flow rates and intravenous simulations.  Questions are randomly generated based on a database of drugs.  Help and solutions are also included, and the program is extremely user-friendly.  Best of all, you can download the latest version for free!  If you want to get in a little extra practice working dosage calc problems, download this fantastic program at:


This month, The Student Nurse Advisor offers some tips on getting organized:
Set up one place to keep your school things and do your homework.  Take only what you need each day to class, and return everything to your "study spot" faithfully everynight.  This way, you will only have to look in one place to find what you need (rather than in the den, the bedroom, the living room, the kitchen, etc.)
Use color - designate one color for each class (i.e. red for anatomy, green for biology).  Having a red notebook, binder and file folder for anatomy will make finding your anatomy work a breeze when you are in a rush.
File everything after each unit exam.  Put all your quizzes, classnotes, handouts and graded homework for a class in a file folder after the end of each unit.  When it's time to review for finals, you will have everything you need in one spot.


Nervous About Clinicals?  Prepare Ahead of Time with our Multimedia Tutorials!

Nervous about clinicals?  Who isn't!  Relax, though - they really aren't as scary as they will probably find you enjoy them once you get into the swing of things.  In the meantime, we've developed some tutorials to help put your mind at ease - the theory being, the more prepared you feel, the less nervous you will be on your first day.  Our online slide show presentations are free, as always - and you don't have to download anything to view them - they run off a java script onsite.  Also, since they do not utilize sound, so you don't have to worry about your computer crashing.  The first two multimedia presentations are ready for you to enjoy - Vital Signs and Disability Etiquette.  Stop in today for a free tutorial!

To access the tutorials, go to:


Top 10 Funny Responses to the Call Bell
1.  Hello, hello.....hello.........hello
2.  Welcome, would you like to try an extra value meal?
3.  Billing and patient accounts, how may i help you?
4.  You have reached the nurses station, please leave a message after the beep.
5.  At the tone, the time will be...
7.  What the heck was that? Hey did you guys here that beeping noise?
8.  Let me guess, you need the bed pan.
9.  Welcome to the automated care delivery system.  If you would like an extra blanket, press 1.  If you need assistance with hygeine, press 2.  If you would like to speak to a live nurse, please hold the line for the next available representative...
10. Please insert 25 cents to complete this call...

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