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Learning a Thing or Two About Evidence-Based Practice

Published January 18, 2013 7:04 PM by Lorenzo Ortega

After slaving for hours putting together my portfolio, I am happy to say that I was passed on to the next stage of interviews for the job I spoke about last week. There are a few more interviews to go, but I am doing the best I can to stay focused on the big picture.

Now that I am out of school, I have been trying to connect with nursing on a different level. Here and there I have been reading different online journal articles about various nursing topics. I find it a great way to stay informed on new clinical findings, as well as brush up on old information previously learned.

One article I read was about blood administration. It was interesting to see that a great deal of research was done on transfusions at different hemoglobin levels. Surprisingly enough those patients transfused with hemoglobin levels less than 7 actually had better outcomes than patients transfused between 8 and 10 (who were expected to decrease to even lower levels). These studied were based on pathological decreases in hemoglobin and not from acute blood loss. Resilience was the first thing that came to my mind after I read these findings. The body really doesn’t need any help unless it is completely overwhelmed. Sometimes a certain system or group of organ systems may be weak, but there is often a strong shift back towards health that the body can make on its own.

Another article I read was about total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Although TPN can dramatically improve a patient’s situation, it was amazing to see all of the associated risks. The one I most remember was dumping syndrome. When a patient is too rapidly switched from TPN back to normal gastric feedings, the stomach can go through a dumping process, empting its contents too quickly into the small intestine. This can cause extreme discomfort and diarrhea, leading to adverse outcomes such as hypovolemia and acid/base imbalances.

It was nice to get an opportunity to plug my brain back into learning mode. I think this whole article reading idea will continue, especially since I can use most of the information in my own practice. I mean, isn’t that was nursing is about, life-long learning through evidenced-based practice… I think I might be on to something!

posted by Lorenzo Ortega

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