Featured Articles

Making RNs Sensitive to Surrogate Decisions in the ICU

SAUSALITO, CA (ASRN.ORG) -- A patient has spent five days in a hospital intensive care unit, unable to breathe without a ventilator and incapable of making her own medical decisions. A relative who has been there the entire time was appointed her health care proxy, perhaps because she was her closest relative. The choices about treatments — trying them or stopping them — fall to the relative.  Suddenly, you have to make decisions and discuss treatments with the relative.  How do you handle it?

Smartphones, Calling All Germs

SAUSALITO, CA (ASRN.ORG) -- When you combine a cellphone's proximity to your ears, nose and mouth with its bacteria-loving warmth, the result can be harmful to your health. This hazard, says Jeffrey Cain, chief of family medicine at Children's Hospital Colorado, often goes unnoticed. "Some things we think are personal are actually more public than we imagine." Bacteria from a phone can cause flu, pinkeye or diarrhea, says Dr. Cain.

What Would Mitt Do As President?

SAUSALITO, CA (ASRN.ORG) -- With the polls showing a tightening race, a Mitt Romney presidency is becoming a real possibility. As I write, New York Times and 5 other polls show a Romney 49-percent to Obama 45% chance of emerging victorious when the votes are cast in just under two weeks.

What the Health of the Mother Means

SAUSALITO, CA (ASRN.ORG) -- Twelve weeks into my pregnancy, my spouse and I were delighted to see our “bean” on ultrasound. We thrilled to the sight of a four-chambered squeezing heart, an enormous head, and tiny, thrashing limbs. When the technician glimpsed an unusual growth on my ovary, we barely paid attention. Only a biopsy could determine what those bulbous shadows in the ultrasound were, but the doctor explained it was either a benign cyst (very likely) or cancer (very unlikely). The chances that the biopsy would result in miscarriage were slightly greater than the odds that the growth would threaten my health if left alone. Buoyed by the doctor’s assurances that the baby looked great, we decided the biopsy was a bad bet.

Four Days of Silence

SAUSALITO, CA (ASRN.ORG) -- “A retreat is a good idea,” my meditation teacher, trained in the U.K. by a Tibetan monk, said when I consulted him about my persistent urge to get away. “And I recommend a silent one.”


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