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Five Clinical Practice Guidelines for Primary Care Nurses

Clinical Practice Guidelines for Primary Care Nurses

Clinical practice guidelines are a crucial part of providing quality treatment. Primary care nurses need to be familiar with these resources and how to access them. So here’s a look at five guidelines for common conditions:

•Head lice remain a common condition, especially among children from economically disadvantaged homes. Current guidelines recommend the use of a bright flashlight or, preferably, a fine-tooth comb in detecting louses or nymphs. Active infestations are indicated when a nit is 6mm or closer to the scalp. Examining the nape of the neck or the area behind the ears are also excellent ways to find evidence of these pests. The preferred treatment method is a 1% solution of Permethrin, applied to the hair and scalp for 10 minutes then rinsed off. A second application should be administered seven to ten days later.

•Hypertension remains a major cause of chronic health problems such as heart disease and stroke. One method of detecting it is to use automated blood pressure systems. However, these are frequently inaccurate if the patient has an irregular heartbeat, such as the kind that exists with a trial fibrillation. In such cases, manual testing should be performed. Also, if the patient has a measurement above 140/90 at the beginning of his or her appointment, a second check should be performed later during the session. If this one is significantly lower than the first, then a third should be performed later on. The lower of the previous two measurements should be entered in his or her chart.

•Sunburn is a painful condition commonly seen during the summer. In most cases, recommended treatment methods include cold packs, topical analgesics, and prescribing rest and adequate nutrition. Some alternative forms of therapy include oatmeal baths, applying milk and use of vitamin C and E creams. The healthcare provider should also educate the patient on the importance of avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun and of using sunscreen when outside.

•Lower back pain is another commonly reported condition that primary care nurses must deal with. Current guidelines stress certain diagnostic criteria, such as determining how long the patient has suffered pain, how the pain rates in severity from 0 to 10, and whether it causes loss of functionality. Therapeutic intra-articular facet joint injections are not recommended as a treatment method, but caudal epidural steroid injections are advised in some cases. Such measures should only be used if milder forms of therapy, such as exercise and chiropractic adjustment, have been tried first and have failed to give relief of symptoms.

•Rheumatoid arthritis is another condition that a primary care nurse will commonly see. Therapy centers around the management of symptoms, with medicines such as glucocorticoids administered for immediate relief of flare-ups, and paracetamol, codeine or other analgesics used for long-term pain management. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents should be used conservatively on an as-needed basis. Referral to a specialist is warranted when the small joints of the hands or feet are affected.

Clinical practice guidelines should be consulted on a regular basis by the primary care nurse. Guidelines.gov is an excellent free resource where guides for hundreds of conditions can be found. Use of these materials will enable healthcare providers of all types to be more effective in curing illnesses and relieving symptoms for their patients.

Nursing Scholarships

American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) American Cancer Society Doctoral Degree Scholarships in Cancer Nursing Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship
The Gates Millenium Scholars (GMS) National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA)
New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Nurse Corps Scholarship (NCS) Nurses of Tomorrow
Nursing Economics Foundation Tylenol Future Care Scholarship American Holistic Nurses Association

Grand Canyon University

Why earn your degree at Grand Canyon University? GCU is a regionally accredited university offering graduate and undergraduate degrees in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more. Apply today!

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  • Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
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Colorado Technical University Online

Specialized, industry-current degree programs in Health Administration Services, Healthcare Management and Nursing.

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  • Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration
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Liberty University

We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing Administration
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  • BS in Nursing (RN to BSN)

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Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.

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  • MS in Nursing
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Baker College is proud to be the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. With one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, our mission is to help our students find meaningful employment.

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  • Nursing (Post-licensure) - Bachelor
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Kaplan University

Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.

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  • MS in Nursing
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Bradley University

Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning.

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Jacksonville University

The University

With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

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Liberty University

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

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  • Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing Administration
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Northcentral University

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

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  • Doctor of Education - Nursing Education

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