I am writing to you in reference to the February 2014 article “A Lifesaving skill: CPR practice boosts resuscitation success,” by Cynthia Saver, RN, MS (www.Nurse.com/Article/Resuscitation-Success). While I wholeheartedly agree that higher-quality CPR results in better patient outcomes, what the article fails to address is how feasible it is to achieve this.
The article suggests many ways in which nurses can improve their CPR skills during an arrest situation. It touts the real time feedback that an AED or a Zoll monitor can provide. In my ED, the Zoll monitor definitely takes us to task when the compressions are not deep enough or fast enough and reminds us to correct our technique. It also offers praise when the compressions are done properly. But what about hospitals in rural areas that can not afford to have such equipment?
The article also suggests that more frequent assessment of skill performance and remediation should be taking place in hospitals. My main caveat with these suggestions is the fact there is just not enough funding for all of this to take place. In the day and age of inadequate staffing and budget cuts, hospitals simply are not in the financial position to institute such policies. It’s hard enough for the one CNS on my unit to handle all of the ACLS/BLS/PALS certifications and re-certifications, plus all of the annual learning and stroke mandatories, for 170 RNs on my floor. Can you imagine having to now perform reassessments every six months for 170 RNs? The hospital would need to hire another full-time CNS just to cover such training and remediation.
Until we can fix the staffing problems in our hospitals, it is ludicrous to suggest adding even more tasks for an already embattled CNS of a unit. What we should concentrate on is the actual initial training of the staff in getting their certification. How many times have I seen RNs get their renewals without actually attending a refresher course because they have a “friend” who gave them the cards as favors? Too many times.
I agree with the article that “practice makes perfect” but instilling such a policy is easier said than done.
A. Abris, RN