Shot of a masked young doctor looking distressed

Nurse Co-Authors Rare Study on Mechanical Circulatory Support, Pediatric Nursing Publishes Article on COVID-19 Guidance, and More Nursing News

Shot of a masked young doctor looking distressed

A nurse co-authors a rare study on the prevalence of moral distress among clinicians caring for patients receiving mechanical circulatory support (MCS). The latest edition of Pediatric Nursing features an article that provides COVID-19 guidance for pediatric patients. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) supports mandatory vaccinations against COVID-19. Read on for more nursing news and insights.

Nurse co-authors rare study on mechanical circulatory support

Gina Guevara, RN, is among six authors who recently published results of a study that is said to be one of only a few studies available to have examined the prevalence of moral distress among clinicians caring for patients receiving mechanical circulatory support (MCS).

The growing use of MCS could contribute to high levels of moral distress for clinicians who regularly care for critically ill patients receiving the aggressive, life-sustaining therapy, according to the study: Moral Distress in Clinicians Caring for Critically Ill Patients Who Require Mechanical Circulatory Support.

Still considered a relatively new life-sustaining therapy, MCS may cause high prognostic uncertainty and unacceptable quality of life. Although survival rates are improving, complications such as debilitating stroke, bleeding, and infection remain significant challenges for patients, their families, and clinicians.

An interdisciplinary team from Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City surveyed clinicians who commonly care for patients receiving MCS about their levels of moral distress. The final study sample comprised 102 clinicians (67 nurses, 28 physicians, and seven advanced practice providers) from the hospital’s medical and cardiothoracic intensive care units (ICUs).

The study’s survey included questions with patient archetypes to represent patient populations commonly encountered in the ICU, allowing the researchers to assess how often clinicians viewed caring for patients receiving MCS as a morally distressing situation, compared with caring for a “routine” patient or for patients requiring a different life-sustaining therapy.

Clinicians were significantly more likely to report frequent moral distress when caring for patients receiving either temporary or permanent MCS than when caring for other critically ill patients, such as a routine postoperative patient.

Despite the overall high levels of moral distress, clinicians were less likely to report frequent moral distress when caring for patients receiving MCS than when caring for either patients with chronic critical illness or a sustained multisystem organ failure.

Additionally, moral distress was higher among nurses than among physicians and advanced practice providers. Moral distress was also higher for clinicians with more than 10 years of experience, which may be due to a “crescendo effect” with repeated instances of unaddressed moral distress resulting in a greater level of moral distress over time. Moral distress was significantly higher for those who also reported burnout and for those considering leaving their position.

When asked to rank potential strategies whose increased use would be most useful to reduce moral distress, 75% of all respondents identified palliative care consultations as most useful. More than 60% of respondents also chose ethics consultations and debriefing sessions as effective interventions.

Explore strategies to combat professional burnout with our on-demand webinar course, Boundaries and Burnout: Strategies for Nurses to Maintain Self.

Pediatric Nursing publishes article on COVID-19 guidance

In an effort to provide nurses with critical data on the impact of COVID-19 in children, the latest edition of Pediatric Nursing features an article that includes the most recent reports about the virus in children and adolescents.

The article also offers recommendations for challenges facing this patient population and compares trends seen among caring for adult patients. The article is available online.

Dive in deep with our specialty series on Pediatric Health.

AANP supports mandatory vaccinations against COVID-19

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) has passed a resolution to support the efforts of employers to create a safe environment and to stop the spread of COVID-19 in offices, healthcare settings, and other places where people gather. AANP officials have been urging professionals to get vaccinated.

“It’s critical we all get vaccinated as soon as possible,” April Kapu, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, FAANP, FCCM, FAAN, president of AANP. “In the millions already vaccinated, vaccines have shown their ability to fight this deadly virus. They are the tools that will help us emerge from this devastating pandemic. AANP supports employers moving to mandated vaccinations to protect employees, patients, families, friends, and all Americans across our great nation and to stop the spread of this virus.”

Podcast spotlight: The WoMed

Hosted by nurse Danielle Maltby, The WoMed podcast approaches each episode with humor and discussion on self-care, mental health, emerging healthcare trends, and education — particularly aimed at a female audience. This nursing vet brings humor, reality, and a serious passion for what she does.

Recent episodes include “A Medical Mystery & Patient Advocacy with Mackenzie Kimes, MSN, RN, CPN” and “A WoMed Heart to Heart with D.”

The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts and Instagram @TheWoMed.

Views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Elite Learning or Colibri Group. Media referenced in this news round-up does not constitute an endorsement.