Central-line associated bloodstream infections rank among the most common causes of death of the U.S. patients, according to the statistical data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016). By definition, a central-line, also known as a central catheter, is a tube that is inserted into a vein. Traditionally, the areas of the neck, chest, arm, or groin are used as the locations of the catheter (Marshall et al., 2014). Therefore, a central-line associated bloodstream infection occurs in case a germ (e.g., a bacterium) enters the central line and then the bloodstream of the patient (Boyce et al., 2013).
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In light of the severity of the issue and the drastic consequences that it may have on the patient’s wellbeing, the problem must be prevented successfully by a nurse. Although designing the tools that will help address the issue successfully is crucial to managing the problem, preventing central-line associated bloodstream infections is a nonetheless essential step toward facilitating a safer nursing environment. At this point, the importance of the role of a nurse educator needs to be brought up.
Providing mentoring and guidance, as well as serving as a role model for students to follow, a nurse educator must instruct the target audience about the means of addressing the issue of nosocomial infections in a manner as efficiently as possible. As stressed above, it is crucial that the strategies for both the prevention of the problem and the management of the issue could be determined. By focusing on the patient surveillance strategies, promoting the safety culture, and providing the necessary education and training for the staff members about a proper way of inserting the catheters and managing the patients’ needs, a nurse educator is likely to reduce the threat of nosocomial infections.
Since nosocomial infections, in general, and CLABSIs, in particular, are at the top of the list of the mortality factors affecting the U.S. population (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016), a nurse educator must have the skills that will allow training the ability to work with closed medication systems. Indeed, studies show that the lack of the relevant skills observed among nurses working with the target audience is the primary reason for CLABSIs to occur (Krein, Kuhn, Ratz, & Chopra, 2015).
Thus, the promotion of the proper management of closer medication systems is imperative to address the problem. The use of closed systems is crucial to the prevention of CLABSIs from developing in patients as the identified approach isolates the target audience from any outside factors. As a result, the possibility of bacteria to affect the inpatients is bound to drop significantly, reducing nearly to zero. Furthermore, the use of the closed system is supposed to reduce the costs of delivering the required services. Consequently, a nurse becomes capable of allocating the available resources more reasonably so that the process of recovery could be enhanced.
Speaking of which, the issue of resources management must be listed among the crucial competencies of a nurse addressing the CLABSI-related problems. As stressed above, there is an urge to reduce the expenses related to the CLABSI installation and further management. Therefore, among the competencies of a nurse educator, the ability to deploy the core principles of sustainability needs to be mentioned. It is crucial to make sure that the people addressing the CLABSI issue should be able to make efficient use of the resources at their disposal.
Furthermore, a nurse educator must have an excellent understanding of the current educational theories so that the essential information could be delivered to the students and the practitioners successfully. For instance, the importance of promoting a patient-centered approach that will allow for designing unique strategies for addressing the CLABSI-related issues must be conveyed to the nurses operating in the identified environment. About the focus on the patient, the need to establish a proper nurse-patient communication framework must be mentioned among the key priorities. Thus, a nurse educator must have the communication-related competencies that will allow improving the process of data retrieval, analysis, and its further usage as the foundation for shaping the nursing strategy. It is the responsibility of a nurse educator to make sure that the medical services should be evaluated at the patient’s level; otherwise, the premises for quality improvement cannot be created.
Finally, a nurse educator must shed some light on the issue of information visualization. As stressed above, a nursing expert must appropriately manage the available information, facilitating the patient’s safety, addressing the CLABSI issue in a timely and efficient manner, and gathering the relevant data regularly. The visualization of the data retrieved in the course of observations, in its turn, is also an important step toward determining a problem and designing the methods of addressing it successfully. Thus, the ability to use the tools that help visualize the central line can be considered an essential competency of a nurse educator (Rajwan et al., 2013).
Among the key characteristics of the nurse educator who is going to shed some light on the issue of central-line associated bloodstream infections, the ability to instruct the participants about working with the necessary tools should be listed. For instance, the capability of the educator nurse to train the participants to carry out regular observations and file the reports documenting the essential changes is an important feature. In other words, the skill of maintaining a proper time management strategy is an important trait of an educator nurse when it comes to teaching how to handle central-line associated bloodstream infections and related issues.
Furthermore, the nurse educator must have a high level of emotional intelligence (EI) and teach the practitioners how to develop and use related abilities. In other words, a nurse educator must be able to detect possible issues based on the patient’s emotions and expressions. Since customers are prone to facing difficulties in defining and describing their experiences, a nurse must be able to retrieve a significant portion of the relevant information from the emotions displayed by the patients. As a result, a nurse educator should teach the practitioners to read the patient’s emotions successfully to incorporate the retrieved information into the array of data used to diagnose the problem, locate the appropriate treatment strategy, and administer the treatment to the patient successfully (Rankin, 2013).
Resourcefulness is another crucial characteristic of a nurse educator when it comes to addressing the issue of central-line associated bloodstream infections. Although it is necessary to provide the nurses with the information about the standard set of rules for managing the problem, nurses must also be aware of the fact that each case is individual and that one must design a unique strategy for every scenario that they face in the hospital setting. As a result, the chances for addressing the problem in a timely and efficient manner increase.
Furthermore, a nurse educator must explain that one is likely to operate in the environment involving a shortage of resources. Hence, the associated difficulties will have to be detailed to the nurses so that they could handle the possible scenarios. For example, a nurse must bear in mind that, in the environment of developing countries, tools such as insertion bundles are likely to come in restricted numbers:
Some researchers have suggested that use of the insertion bundles, which has been shown to result in reduced CLABSI rates in developed countries, would likely not be sufficient in countries with limited resources, where the use of outdated technology (such as the ongoing use of open rather than closed intravenous infusion systems) is not uncommon and sufficient skilled staffing is lacking. (The Joint Commission, 2012, p. 32)
Finally, the ability to engage in the lifelong learning process and acquire new information should be viewed as an essential characteristic of a nurse educator. Furthermore, the latter must be able to teach the nurses working with patients with nosocomial infections to participate in the lifelong learning process as well. As stressed above, although there are specific rules that the nurses addressing the central-line associated bloodstream infections must know, in most cases, one must develop a unique strategy based on the specifics of the given scenario. Therefore, the ability to acquire new skills and apply them successfully to prevent the infection from spreading is a crucial component of the nursing quality that one must have to provide the services of the required quality.
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Although there is an evident need in educating nurses about the means of managing nosocomial infections, in general, and central-line associated bloodstream infections, in particular, the current focus must be placed on the prevention of the issue. Particularly, a nurse educator must shed light on the aspects such as the means of providing the patients with the necessary instructions, as well as supervising the target audience so that the central line should not be damaged. Thus, the threat of infection can be prevented successfully.
Apart from shedding light on the means of building awareness among patients, a nurse educator must also mention the strategies that nurses must use when addressing the problem, though. For instance, the opportunities to retrieve the information about the infection promptly need to be brought up among the crucial steps to take. Therefore, it is the job of a nurse educator to provide nurses with detailed instructions on information management and the acquisition of the relevant competencies.
Seeing that the lack of leadership support is among the key impediments to treating patients successfully, an especial emphasis must be placed on providing nurses and students with the guidance that will allow them to develop confidence and independence required to provide patients with the necessary services and spot the associated problems at the earliest stages of their development. As soon as the target audience learns to apply the required skills to solve practical tasks, a rapid drop in the number of central-line associated bloodstream infections occurrences is expected. Thus, the focus on competencies acquisition and the promotion of a patient-centered approach needs to be kept when addressing the educational needs of nurses.
Boyce, J. M., Nadeau, J., Dumigan, D., Miller. D., Dubowsky, C., Reilly, L., & Hannon, C. V. (2013). Obtaining blood cultures by venipuncture versus from central lines: impact on blood culture contamination rates and the potential effect on central line–associated bloodstream infection reporting. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 34(10), 1042-1047.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). FAQs about catheter-associated bloodstream infections. Web.
The Joint Commission. (2012). Preventing central line–associated bloodstream infections: A global challenge, a global perspective. Oak Brook Terrace, IL: Joint Commission Resources.
Krein, S. L., Kuhn, L., Ratz, D., & Chopra, V. (2015). Use of designated nurse PICC teams and CLABSI prevention practices among U.S. hospitals: A survey-based study. Journal of Patient Safety, 39(9), E576-580. Web.
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