Clinical Practice Q&A


Photo: Throughout the Clinical Practice area, enjoy viewing "The Many Faces of AMSN Members," taken at recent annual conventions.

The Clinical Practice Q & A (CPQ&A) is an area to regularly visit for information regarding the clinical topics outlined below.

How the CPQ&A works:

  • The questions found in CP Q&A were sent in from members and visitors to the website and answered by the members of the AMSN Clinical Practice Committee (CPC).
  • CPC members answer the question by performing a literature review and sharing the best evidence-based practices found.
  • They may also provide a collaboration of their respective experience and interprofessional relationships.
  • Many answers have links to additional resources, and include cited references used in the answer.

Nurses looking for clinical answers and best practices to improve patient outcomes should attempt to find them through their own literature review first. AMSN has gathered resources to help you learn how and where to go to conduct a literature search and even how to conduct evidence-based projects or quality improvement projects. Let AMSN help you.

If you have checked the topics below for your answer, and still have not found what you are looking for, members may ask a question in the AMSN Hub. Once you arrive at the Hub, go to the Clinical Practice community and add a discussion.


Topics of the Clinical Practice Q&A:

  • Assessment & Intervention includes information on standards of practice related to the various care situations in the medical-surgical setting. This information may be gained by conducting comprehensive, holistic assessment using evidence-based techniques and tools and/or identifying potential risks to patient safety, autonomy, and quality of care based on these assessments.
  • Care Issues covers a myriad of topics around the care of the medical-surgical patient. Solving these complex patient care issues involves using effective communication and collaboration with the inter-professional health care team.
  • Central Line Care & Maintenance includes care of central lines and staff competencies related to these. Methods and techniques used during central venous catheter insertion and management are critically important to preventing catheter-related blood stream infections or central line associated bacteremia.
  • Genitourinary (GU) contains subject matter for care of the patient with medical and surgical issues of the GU system. GU mainly focuses on the surgical and medical diseases of the male and female urinary tract system and the male reproductive organs. These issues include various types of cancer and other conditions.
  • GI/Nutrition provides general information on nutrition, including enteral and parenteral nutrition, and care of the patient with GI related issues. Additionally, this category will be used to address malnutrition in patients. Malnutrition is treatable, but nurses must act quickly to address this.
  • Medications covers the 5 rights of medication administration. These include: 1) Right Medication, 2) Right Dose, 3) Right Time, 4) Right Route, and 5) Right Patient. It also addresses medications from administration to patient teaching.
  • Orders (processing) contains advice for the nurse role and responsibilities in receiving, acknowledging, and carrying out provider orders. The nursing process is a scientific method used by nurses to ensure the quality of patient care.
  • Post-op Wound Care contains topics that cover generalized post-operative wound care to promote healing and prevent infection. Medical-surgical nurses are usually responsible for changing dressings, monitoring vital signs, looking for signs of complications, and administering medications.
  • Staffing requirements vary by state, and few states have mandatory nurse to patient ratios. This section offers resources for further inquiry into the subject. Hospital nurse staffing is a major concern because of its impact on patient safety and quality of care. The patient should receive resources according to need.
  • Telemetry or Cardiac Monitoring covers the role and responsibilities of the medical-surgical nurse in caring for the patient with cardiac telemetry monitoring. These patients require this monitoring and may need intravenous therapy drips, arterial lines, and central venous pressure lines. Special training allows nurses on a medical-surgical unit to interpret patient cardiac rhythms.
  • Vital Signs This section contains our most frequently asked questions and are in this collection of best practices for obtaining vital signs in the medical-surgical setting. Nurses have relied on five signs in the past to assess their patients. However, hospital patients today are sicker than in the past. Using only these five vital signs may not be adequate to identify those who are getting sicker.
  • ALL Questions and Answers - listed by date added.