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Center for Nursing Excellence eNewsletter February/March 2010

Best Practices: PQRST Method Facilitates Accurate Pain Assessment

At a CKHS pain symposium held last year, Crozer-Keystone nurses joined other experts in pain management in presenting effective methods and techniques. Dolly Curley, RN, BSN, BS, DABFN, LNCC, CKHS Home Care, described the “PQRST method” as a valuable tool for accurately describing and assessing pain, documenting, assisting in the selection of appropriate pain medication, and evaluating the response to treatment. More>

Pain: The Fifth Vital Sign

Crozer-Keystone VHA RAN Project Aims to Improve Patient Satisfaction with Pain Management

Pain affects 76.2 million Americans, more than one-quarter of the U.S. adult population, according to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Research has shown that pain can weaken the immune system, slow recovery from disease or injury and negatively affect the emotional well being of patients and their caregivers. The American Pain Society and other health care organizations consider pain control so essential to a patient’s well being that they have designated pain as the “the fifth vital sign.” Although evidence shows that good pain control results in fewer complications, faster healing and decreased hospital stays, pain continues to be untreated, undertreated or improperly managed nationwide, according to the NCHS report (2006).  More>

The Dark Side of Pain Management: Handling Drug-Seeking Behavior and Addiction

Prescription pain medication is central to most pain management plans, and most patients who ask for pain medication truly need it. But some patients who need pain relief may also be struggling with drug addiction. Others may only pretend to have pain or exaggerate in order to obtain a prescription for pain killers. How can you tell the difference? More>

Nursing Spotlight: Profiles in Pain Management

Each of the CKHS nurses mentioned below devotes a significant amount of time in her practice to helping patients cope with pain. Following is a snapshot of the pain issues they face, their pain management goals, clinical approaches and the rewards and challenges of helping patients manage pain effectively. More>

Tara Harrell, RN
Jennifer Miller, RN, BSN
Kim Getty, RN
Joanne Schultz, RN, BSN, CMSRN
Ginger Minnick, RN, CHPN

Crozer Patient Inspired to Become Nurse

Through the haze of head trauma and pain medication, Christina Reinhardt, RN, BSN, was only aware of faces and small acts of kindness. The faces were those of the nurses who cared for her on Crozer-Chester Medical Center’s Shock Trauma Unit, Step Down Unit and 1 West after an auto accident nine years ago that nearly took her life. The care and compassion shown by these nurses inspired Reinhardt to become a critical care nurse. Here is her story>

Manuel and Mendez Appointed Administrative Nursing Directors

Kathleen M. Manuel, RN, MSN, OCN, Delaware County Memorial Hospital, and Christine M. Mendez, RN, BSN, Taylor Hospital, were recently appointed administrative nursing directors at their respective hospitals. More>

Magnet Moment: Zanet Lester, MSHA, BSN, RN

Director, CKHS Center for Nursing Excellence 

CKHS Introduces Patient and Family-Focused Nursing Care Model
The ANCC Magnet Recognition Program calls for a nursing care model to be an essential component in a nursing department’s efforts to drive excellent patient care and improve patient and nursing outcomes and satisfaction. A nursing care model provides an overarching framework for nursing care. It depicts how nurses practice, collaborate and communicate to provide quality care. It also illustrates the alignment and integration of nursing practice with the mission, vision, philosophy and values of the hospital or health system. More>

Executive Endings:  Nancy Politarhas, RN, MSN

Assistant Vice President, Patient Services, Taylor Hospital

Crozer-Keystone Health System is committed to providing comprehensive, high quality care to every patient. Since illness, injury and surgery may result in pain, our approach to care includes the effective management of our patients’ pain.

As nurses, we are responsible for assessing, treating and monitoring pain (referred to as the fifth vital sign); educating patients about their pain medications; ensuring safety during pain medication administration; and advocating for patients with unrelieved pain. More>