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2014 SPS conference

Current Topics for the Pediatric Sedation Nurse

Carrie Makin, RN
Section Editor

A Recap and Future Plans

By Debbi LaViolette, RN, BSN, CPN

Each year the SPS Conference offers nursing and patient-centered focused topics, and this year was no exception. There were a wide range of presentations to choose from, covering topics from nurse management to tools to help children and families cope with anxiety. Five breakout sessions were offered, along with ones on nitrous oxide and hypnosis, which were well attended by nurses.

In the session, “Expanding the Role of the Sedation Nurse,” protocols for pentobarbital, nitrous oxide, dexmedetomidine and ketamine were discussed in relation to the phases of pre, intra, and post-procedure care. The protocols for both moderate and deep sedation were covered. The lecture gave participants insight into what works best for painful and non-painful procedures in a radiology based sedation service.

The “Going Mobile” session explored the special needs of running a non-unit based sedation service. The components and competencies which need to be in place were discussed. Also covered were the financial and compliance aspects. 

The round- table discussion in” Sedation Nurse Management,” bit off a little more than it could chew by trying to cover too many aspects of this evolving role. The session showed how much work there is to be done in developing standards and benchmarks for staffing, budgeting, and scheduling in an evolving specialty, and incorporates total patient care from pre-admission to discharge. The take-away message from the session was that there needs to be more discussion with specific focus for the nurse manager.

The two Child Life sessions, “Is there an App for that? The How’s and Why’s to Increase Patient Coping,” and “Beyond Bandaids: Child Friendly Tools to Make Your Job Easier,” both explored ways of advancing the patient centered aspects of procedural sedation. The sessions discussed positions of comfort, and the importance of preparing families and children for what they will experience. Also discussed was how using iPads, DVD players, and low tech distraction methods like bubble blowing can make the sedation and procedure less traumatic for children and families.

The session, “First Contact: The Pre-screening Phone Call” discussed in depth how important that initial contact is to many facets of procedural sedation. This early contact ensures that the child is an appropriate candidate for the sedation service. It also begins the education and patient centered interaction which can decrease anxiety in the patients and families.

The next SPS annual meeting will be in Charleston, South Carolina in May, 2014. We will again be focusing some of the lectures on the nursing and patient centered aspects of our field. I hope many of you will join us there. If you have any ideas or suggestions about nursing topics you would like to see covered, or if you would be interested in being a speaker at the Conference, please e-mail me  We are always looking for more involvement and ideas.

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