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Aggressive Management of the Unstable Med-Surg Patient

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Course Description

In this two-day program, participants will explore selected topics that every med-surg healthcare practitioner should know. General concepts will be covered to allow application to a wide variety of care settings, and comprehensive assessment and treatment modalities will be introduced to stimulate the experienced clinician. Each topic will be presented in a case study format highlighting the “red flags” to watch for, along with cutting-edge treatment strategies, in order to prevent further deterioration for the patient and ultimately to prevent harm.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program prepares the learner to:

  • Discuss the assessment of the deteriorating medical-surgical patient using a systematic approach.
  • Discriminate between a variety of tests and lab results in order to determine if the patient is on the right course.
  • Describe the best care and treatment modalities for the patient using nursing judgment and critical thinking.
  • Recognize when to call the Rapid Response Team.


Sign-in begins at 7:30 am. Each day includes a one-hour lunch (on your own), as well as a morning and afternoon break of 15 minutes each. The order of lectures presented and break times may vary according to speaker preference.

Day 1, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

  • What do the Numbers Mean?
    CBC, Chemistries | Life-Threatening Electrolytes
  • IV Therapy and Fluids
    IV Fluids and Considerations | Recognition, Maintenance and Care of the Central Venous Access Devices (CVAD): CVC, PICC and Port-a-Cath
  • Air, Air, I Must Have Air: Respiratory Complications
    Assessment | Treatment of Conditions | Chest Drainage: In the Hospital and Going Home
  • Easy Steps to ABG Analysis
    Respiratory and Metabolic Disorders | Compensation: Heading in the Right Direction | Case Studies
  • The 5 Easy Steps to Rhythm Interpretation
    Identify Sinus Rhythm Quickly and Easily! | Identify Rhythms Quickly: Normal, Worrisome or Lethal?
  • Chest Pain—Chest Pain—Chest Pain
    Differentiating Pulmonary Embolism, Acute Coronary Syndromes, MI and Pericarditis | Don’t Forget GI Disorders
  • Pacemakers: Don't Miss a Beat
    Tips to Know to be Successful at the Bedside | AICDs–a Special Breed

Day 2, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

  • Sepsis: Getting the Bugs Out!
    Identification of Sepsis | New Bundle Treatments
  • Bowel Issues: Go with the Gut!
    GI Bleeds, Obstructions and Paralytic Ileus | Nasogastric Tubes and More
  • Metabolic Syndromes
    Syndrome X: Solving the Mystery | Diabetes: DKA and HHNK—Help, My Patient is Out of Control!
  • Neurological Emergencies
    Strokes, Bleeds and Seizures
  • Urological Issues: My Patient isn’t Micturating!
    Assessing Output | Failure
  • The Non-Critical Trauma Patient: What are We Watching For?
    Late Presentation Injuries (Pulmonary, GI, Orthopedic, Neuro) | Other Potential Lethal Complications | When to Activate the Rapid Response Team