AMSN Helps Nurses Find Answers to Clinical Practice Questions

Please completely read this helpful information first.

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AMSN encourages nurses looking for clinical answers and best practices to find them through their own literature review first - before asking a question here. Why?

This is a basic clinical leadership skill that clinical nurses should develop for themselves, their practice and their patients. 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.

Tools to help you find your own answer:

  • How to Start
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Quality Improvement
  • Search the AMSN Website for questions we've already answered.
    • Use the AMSN Website Search feature (located in the upper right side of any page). Enter in keywords of the question you are looking to find. For example, if you are looking for Q&As regarding: "foley catheter," enter the words in the search. See the search results for a "foley catheter."
    • TIP: all of the search results that begin with: "Question:" are from the CPQ&A area.

If you have tried to find the answer/solution on your own first and were unsuccessful, members (only) may ask a question that will be shared in the (upcoming) new AMSN discussion forum.

Note: AMSN will soon be introducing an online forum where members can ask about and discuss clinical practice issues. The AMSN Clinical Practice Committee will monitor the discussion to make sure that evidence-based practice answers are shared, and provide additional help and resources when needed.


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.