Category Archives: Diseases & Conditions

Beyond insulin in the treatment of diabetes

insulin

At the time of this writing there are a handful of new-fangled diabetes medications out there. Maybe you’ve seen the commercials showing impossibly happy people managing their blood sugar with complete and total ease (this is my favorite!) Or, perhaps you’re seeing these meds pop up in the hospital (or wherever it is that you care for patients). The fact is, there are a LOT of treatments for diabetes that go beyond insulin…but since that’s what we use the most in the clinical setting, let’s start there then we’ll branch out to the fancy stuff. Ready?

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Name the Diagnosis: Podquiz Episode 12

study ATI

In this PodQuiz, we have a LOAD of fun! You’ll listen to a list of signs/symptoms and then try to name which diagnosis/disease they refer to. How fun is that? It’s a great way to study for your comprehensive ATI or whatever exit exam you use at your school.

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Liver Failure Basics: Podcast Episode 11

liver failure

In this episode, we go through the basics of liver failure using my ingenious, wonderful, amazing LATTE method, which breaks down any patient condition into the “need to know” info.

  • L = How will the patient LOOK?
  • A = How will you ASSESS the patient?
  • T = What TESTS will be ordered?
  • T = What TREATMENTS will be provided?
  • E = How do you EDUCATE the patient/family?

Amazing, right? For more resources, visit www.straightanursingstudent.com. For LATTE resource sheets, look under “resources” in the top nav bar. Enjoy!

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Renal Failure Basics: Podcast Episode 9

renal failure basics

Renal function is one of the most important AND most common things you’ll keep an eye on as an RN…that’s because so many things can cause it to take a dive: the meds we give, hypotension, contrast dye, decreased volume states, hemorrhage, dehydration, infection, crush injuries and on and on and on.

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Why the QT interval matters

QT interval

When you begin taking care of patients who are on cardiac monitoring (AKA “tele monitoring”) you’ll need to chart a few key ECG measurements once per shift and any time there is a change in the rhythm. These are the PR interval, the QRS, the QT and the QTc. You probably are already very familiar with the PR interval and QRS measurements…but what is a QT and why do you need to measure it?

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Reasons for an elevated lactate

elevated lactate

If there’s one thing that will separate the rookie nurse from the seasoned pro is how an elevated lactate is interpreted. The gut reaction in many cases is to scream SEPSIS from the rooftops. After all, sepsis is very serious and catching it early plays an enormous role in reducing mortality. And yes, one of the signs of sepsis IS an elevated lactate. However, loads of other things can cause it to be high, and knowing what these are will not only make you come across as incredibly competent, you’ll be prepared to take even better care of your patients.

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Podcast Episode 5: ICP Management

ICP MANAGEMENT

Managing ICP (intracranial pressure) is a complex balancing act. In this podcast you’ll learn the basics of ICP monitoring and management, what to watch for, when to intervene and HOW to intervene.

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Podcast Episode 3: ARDS

ARDS

In this episode we talk about the basics of ARDS – Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. It is the most severe form of acute lung injury and is something we see pretty regularly in the MICU. Learn about the different stages that occur as ARDS develops, what you’re going to assess and how the patient is going to be treated in this episode of the Straight A Nursing Podcast.

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Podcast: Diabetes

DKA

Hands-down, diabetes is probably THE most common comorbidity you’ll see in the hospital setting. Understanding the two “big daddy” diabetes complications should help you take care of these very sick patients. DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) and HHS (hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome) are deadly serious conditions that require a diligent RN and a solid grasp of the pathophysiology and treatment plans.

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