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Beebe Medical Center nurse publishes article in peer-reviewed medical journal


Patricia A. Houston, RN, MPH, MEd, coordinator of the bariatric program at Beebe Medical Center in Lewes, Del., has published an article in the January/February 2013 issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Infusion Nursing, “Obtaining Vascular Access in the Obese Patient Population.” According to a news release, the article compiles the research that has been done on safe and effective techniques when using IVs on obese patients.

“We chose Patty’s article for publication because of its timeliness and unique focus,” Mary Alexander, RN, MA, CRNI, CAE, FAAN, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Infusion Nursing, said in the release.

“Not only does this article address a real need for information for our readers, but Patty’s research is also significant as we add to the science of the infusion nursing specialty.”

According to the release, Houston became interested in the subject in 2010 after taking over the coordinator’s role for Beebe’s bariatric program.

“When I started doing research, I couldn’t find comprehensive information on obtaining IV access for our patient population,” Houston said in the release. “Instead, each journal article I found dealt with a single aspect of IV insertion. I decided to put all pertinent research into one article so infusion staff at any hospital can use it as a guideline to improve practice.”

The several techniques Houston discusses in her article include: using ultrasound to find the vein; using longer IV devices; angling the needle differently; and measuring the arm to allow for the extra tissue in cases of obtaining peripherally inserted central lines.

“Research shows that using these specialized techniques leads to fewer needle sticks, faster time starting the IV, a reduced risk of infection and improved patient satisfaction,” Houston said in the release. Anesthesiologists and vascular access team members already use these techniques at Beebe.

Houston presented her research in November 2011 at the Infusion Nurses Society’s National Academy of Infusion Therapy in Los Angeles.

“Speaking to nurses from all over the country about bariatric surgery patients was a delightful experience,” Houston said in the release. “They came with vast experiences from small community hospitals to large teaching facilities. I feel very proud to have the privilege of being able to represent Beebe Medical Center on the national level.”

Paul Minnick, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Beebe Medical Center, said in the release that Houston’s research reflects her commitment to patient safety and to quality care.

“I applaud Patty for her commitment to patient safety and to advanced education,” Minnick said in the release. “Patient safety is our No. 1 goal at Beebe Medical Center, and it is critical that our staff members stay up-to-date with the latest nursing practices.”


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