Associate Charge Nurse Nelson Emergency Department.
Extensive background in critical care, cardio-thoracic and emergency nursing.
Member CENNZ Committee.
Jo King is a senior nurse in the Nelson Emergency Department. She trained as a NZRGON at Palmerton North Hospital and completed a Masters of Nursing (Clinical) at Victoria University, Wellington.
She has an extensive clinical background in critical care, coronary care and cardio-thoracic ICU. She has held Charge Nurse positions in both Dunedin and Sydney in these areas.
Jo has a passion for clinical practice and promoting advanced nursing to achieve quality outcomes. Her areas of research and practice development have included youth violence and neutropenic sepsis in the
emergency department. She is a current member of the CENNZ committee.
Abstract Title: Balancing what we know and what we do: A collaborative approach to improve the management of neutropenic sepsis in the emergency department.
Neutropenic sepsis is a life threatening complication of bone marrow dysfunction and anticancer therapy. It has an associated mortality of 2-21%. Despite neutropenic sepsis being recognized as a medical emergency, evidence suggests that the response in many emergency departments may be less than ideal.
A sentinel event challenged our emergency department to review its practices around identifying and managing patients at risk of neutropenic sepsis. A project was designed to improve care of these patients and ensure international benchmarks were met. This included reviewing the literature, conducting retrospective research and identifying key personal across the wider service to establish a multidisciplinary collaboration. These activities provided an understanding of what should be done, what was actually being done and identified areas of clinical risk. A 'triage initiated neutropenic pathway' was designed and implemented.
This pathway used local research findings to build in safety-nets to ensure best practice is achieved for all patients. The multidisciplinary collaboration ensured a robust process with collective buy-in and has improved the interface between services, both community and hospital. There have been significant improvements in measurable outcomes.
Nelson Emergency Department