nursing schoolJohns Hopkins Nursing researchers focus on MRSA, motherhood, hospital stress, intimate partner violence, and more in the November-December 2012 research news brief.

Psych Unit Infection Risks

Dangerous bacteria like methocillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are more prevalent in newly admitted psychiatric patients than in the general hospital population, according to Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) assistant professor and researcher Jason Farley, PhD, CRNP, and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Farley says, “Patients with mental disorders often have other conditions, like HIV/AIDS or chronic illnesses, that heighten their risk for acquiring MRSA. Admission screening can reduce the spread.” [“Prevalence, risk factors and molecular epidemiology of MRSA nasal and axillary colonization among psychiatric patients on admission to an academic medical center.” American Journal of Infection Control, Dec. 2012.]

Tools for Mom

Most new mothers leave the hospital with a baby, a stack of booklets and many unanswered questions. According to associate professor Elizabeth "Betty" Jordan, DNSc, RNC, and JHUSON doctoral graduate Barbara Buchko, DNP, RNC-MNN, a better strategy includes a comprehensive booklet and individualized education throughout the hospital stay. Jordan says, “Our approach personalizes newborn care information, making it more relevant for each mother.” [“Improving quality and efficiency of postpartum hospital education.” Journal of Perinatal Education, Oct.-Dec. 2012.] Elsewhere, Jordan and colleagues describe Text4baby, an award-winning messaging service for new mothers. [“Text4baby: Development and implementation of a national text messaging health information service,” American Journal of Public Health, Dec. 2012.]

Clinicians Behaving Badly

The effects of stress on nurses and doctors can harm patient care. In a study of over 1,550 hospital clinicians, eight in 10 reported experiencing disruptive workplace behavior in the past year, according to JHUSON instructor Jo Walrath, PhD, RN, and Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Deborah Dang, PhD, RN, and Dorothy Nyberg, MS, RN. Walrath notes, “By pinpointing triggers for disruptive behavior, we can craft specific solutions to ensure that clinicians ‘do no harm.’ ” [“An organizational assessment of disruptive clinical behavior.” Journal of Nursing Care Quality, Oct. 2012.]

Trauma’s Legacy

Victimization—intimate partner violence (IPV), psychological abuse, rape—can leave long-lasting damage: physical injury, HIV/AIDS and behavioral issues like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse. Professor Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, and colleagues identify risks for victimization and ways to reduce them in several studies. In the Oct. 2012 Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, they report that PTSD screening and treatment for females victimized as children or adolescents may lower the risk of IPV victimization as an adult. [“Testing posttraumatic stress as a mediator of childhood trauma and adult intimate partner violence victimization.”] When teen substance users are victimized repeatedly, their risk for concurrent mental problems also rises, according to Campbell, JHUSON postdoctoral fellow Bushra Sabri, PhD, LMSW, and another colleague. [“Multiple victimization experiences, resources and co-occurring mental health problems among substance-using adolescents,” Violence and Victims, Nov. 2012.] With postdoctoral fellow Marguerite Lucea, PhD, RN, doctoral student Jessica Draughon, MSN, RN, and another colleague, Campbell suggests potential physical and behavioral links between forced sex and the risk of HIV. [“Forced sex and HIV risk in violent relationships,” American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, Oct. 2012. ]

In Other Nursing Research News

Assistant professor Martha Sylvia, PhD, MBA, RN; professor Marie Nolan, PhD, RN; and associate professors Hae-Ra Han, PhD, RN, and Kathleen White, PhD, RN, note that over 70 percent of a health facility’s workers with diabetes reported work limitations, a problem that nurses can help resolve. [“Work limitations and their relationship to morbidity burden among academic health center employees with diabetes.” Workplace Health and Safety, Oct. 2012.] Johns Hopkins Hospital nurses Margie Burnett, BSN, RN, Maureen Lewis PMHNP-BC, Tameira Joy, BSN, RN, and Kelly Jarrett, BSN, RN, report that engaging bedside nurses as partners in clinical studies yields better research and greater acceptance of resulting changes in nursing practice. [“Participating in clinical nursing research,” Medical-Surgical Nursing, Sept.-Oct. 2012.] To advance integrated clinical education, professor Pamela Jeffries, PhD, RN, and a colleague offer a model combining state-of-the-art simulation and core competencies across disciplines. [“Interdisciplinary collisions,” Collegian, 2012.] In an accompanying editorial, Jeffries and a colleague highlight growth of simulation in global health education. [“Clinical simulation in health care.”] Professor Christine Savage, PhD, RN, explores the role of nurses in identifying and assisting substance users. [“Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) and the role of nursing,” Journal of Addictions Nursing, Oct. 2012.] In the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care [Nov.-Dec. 2012], Farley and a colleague penned an editorial overview of the 2012 International AIDS Conference. [“Nurses, stemming the leaks to ‘turn the tide.’”]