The pulmonary artery catheter is a valuable tool available to the clinician for use in deciphering complex hemodynamic scenarios. Patients in shock, particularly those who are elderly or have premorbid conditions such as heart failure, may have atypical presentations. Additional hemodynamic data may help identify interventions that might seem counterintuitive, such as the use of vasoconstrictors in patients with low cardiac output. Interpretation of pulmonary artery hemodynamic data is a skill that should not be relegated to the past. This article reviews the use of a pulmonary artery catheter in mixed shock states. A case study is used to demonstrate how pulmonary artery catheter hemodynamic values can guide the care of these patients.
High-quality care will continue to be a driver in the evolution of today’s health care environment. Ensuring effective, cost-conscious, quality care is the core of clinical nurse specialist (CNS) practice. The CNS practice varies by state, depending on each state’s Nurse Practice Act. Some states have separate scopes of practice for CNSs, including prescriptive authority, whereas some states do not recognize CNS practice as different from the practice of the registered nurse. The journey to state recognition and title protection for the CNS role in the state of Maryland is described.