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Role of the registered nurse in sonography.

Bladder scanners are used to detect the amount of urine in the bladder. This simple ultrasound device allows nurses to determine whether it is appropriately to insert a urinary catheter. The Institute of Healthcare Improvement recommends the use of bladder scanners to avoid unnecessary catheterizations. Avoidance is critical to patient safety. Catheter associated urinary tract infections account for 35% of all hospital acquired infections and cost approximately $12,000/each to treat.

UNMH conducts 2500 bladder scans a month Presbyterian Hospital 1700/month

Specially trained nurses insert PICC lines and ultrasound guided IV catheters. PICC lines are used to deliver medications that must be given into a large vein or they would hurt the patient. These lines are used to give long doses of antibiotics for severe infections, administer chemotherapy, and give blood products to patients with clotting disorders. The insertion of these lines is often done urgently to deliver lifesaving medications or fluids.

UNMH and Presbyterian each insert 100 PICC lines monthly

Limited ultrasound is used by specially trained Advanced Practice Nurses and RN's to assess the position of the baby, levels of amniotic fluid, and fetal monitoring. These quick looks are non-diagnostic, but offer a lot of information to practitioners when they are making decisions that affect the safe delivery of a baby and the health of the mother.

UNMH nurses monitor over 1880 babies every month Presbyterian nurses monitor over 1600 babies every month

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a narrowing of the veins and the arteries. It affects over 12 million Americans. The narrowing of the vessels can restrict blood flow, which leads to open wounds and is the primary cause of limb and amputation. Nurses must regularly assess the presence and strength of pulses and PVD makes these pulses extremely difficult to feel. Handheld Doppler ultrasound is used to check for pulses on a routine basis.

Ultrasound/ sonography is used by Registered Nurses trained by their facilities or outside organizations for patient assessments, resulting in more efficient, cost-effective and safer patient care across the state of New Mexico, from critical access hospitals in rural communities to large metropolitan medical centers.

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Publication:New Mexico Nurse
Geographic Code:1U8NM
Date:Jan 1, 2013
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