Showing posts relating to: The Rounds: Clinical Considerations

How Accurate are Rapid Flu Tests?

Relying on the rapid influenza test may not be your best bet

For some, the holiday season brings the joy of cooler temperatures, peppermint mochas and kindling fires. But for nurse practitioners, the time of year also means the loom and doom of the dreaded influenza season.

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Documenting a Back and Neck Exam Made Simple

Whether you're a seasoned nurse practitioner or a new grad, there's always room for improvement when it comes to documentation skills. Over the past few months here at MidlevelU, we've been looking at documentation basics for the various body systems. Accurately recording the findings of your physical exam is essential for the continued care of your patient and to protect yourself legally as a healthcare provider. What do you need to know when it comes to documenting exam findings of the back and neck?

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Foreign Body Freakout! How to Remove an Insect from the Ear

Have you ever treated a patient presenting with a case of insect-in-the-ear? Understandably, the situation is quite distressing for the patient. Spiders, cockroaches, and other creepy-crawlies entering the ear canal, particularly during sleep, occurs more commonly than you might think. While this isn't a problem I treat on a daily basis as a nurse practitioner in the emergency department, it happens from time to time. What is the best approach for removing an insect from the ear?

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Charting Hacks for Nurse Practitioners

Sometimes charting makes me want to scream. When I work in the fast track area of the emergency department diagnosing ear infections, suturing lacerations and treating minor injuries, I quickly become frustrated with documentation. It seems that charting the patient interaction takes longer than the visit itself. Not to mention, documenting what seems like the same visit over and over again makes me certifiably crazy. 

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Auscultate It! Super Quick Lung Sounds Tutorial

It's interesting how much you can learn with a review of the most basic skills. As nurse practitioners, many of us have been listening to lung sounds for years. But, when a reader asked me to post a refresher on auscultation, even as an experienced NP I came away with a few new interesting tidbits of information. So, whether you're new to the nurse practitioner profession, or you're a seasoned NP with years of experience, check out this super quick refresher on lung sounds. 

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We Can't Stop Using These 3 Lab Interpretation Apps

As a new nurse practitioner, one of my clinical areas of weakness was that of ordering and interpreting labs tests. Matching a patient's clinical presentation up with the required diagnostic studies wasn't easy. Ordering unnecessary labs meant increasing costs for my patient. Omitting helpful lab studies could lead to a missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis. Furthermore, once the labs were complete, what was the significance of abnormal results?

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4 Written Resources for Lab Interpretation

Our last post talked apps for lab interpretation. While apps are convenient and take up only virtual storage space, we totally side with nurse practitioners who prefer more tangible clinical resources. If you're a book-loving NP, there are a number of helpful references out there to guide you in ordering and interpreting lab studies. Which pack the most punch in the clinical setting?

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Real Alternatives to Opioids for Pain Management

By Healthcare Attorney Alex Scarbrough Fisher

Healthcare providers are aware of the current opioid epidemic in the United States, as well as the risks—both to the provider’s patients, and to the provider’s licensure—of prescribing opioids to patients for the management of chronic pain. So, what do we do about it? 

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A Quick Guide to Documenting a Cardiovascular Exam

Do you struggle with documentation as a nurse practitioner? Compiling your physical exam findings into a succinct statement or two isn't always easy. You must use language appropriate to the body system to convey your exam so that your notes make sense to other providers. You must also make sure to cover the components of each system relevant to the patient's presentation. If you're a nurse practitioner who could use a documentation brush up, check out this quick guide to documenting a cardiovascular exam. 

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Documenting a Respiratory Exam - Just the Basics

A physical exam of the chest includes both the heart and lungs, which can each be quite complex in themselves. So, for our purposes, we'll break the exam and documentation of the chest down into its components. Continuing our MidlevelU series on documentation basics, today we'll look at how to document an exam of the respiratory system. 

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How to Make the EpiPen Affordable for Your Patients

In recent months, drug company Mylan increased the price for its EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. 2-Paks to $600 plus; an estimated 400% increase compared to its original cost of around $100 in 2007. The skyrocketed cost has sparked outrage amongst consumers. The controversy has even made its way up to Congress and continues to unfold weekly. In the midst of the EpiPen controversy, how can nurse practitioners make sure their patients can afford the life-saving drug?

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The Nurse Practitioner's Guide to the 2016 Flu Shot

It's that time of year again, folks! The weather is crisp and leaves are beginning to fall from the trees. Yes, it's flu shot season. In the emergency department where I work, we've already seen a handful of patients test positive for influenza. So, it looks like the flu could come early this year. As a result, nurse practitioners should encourage patients to get vaccinated sooner rather than later. What do NPs need to know about the 2016-2017 flu shot?

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