Outreach

Advocacy lends itself to outreach beyond the patient population that is served by a particular physician and the nurse advocate. By increasing public awareness and deeper understanding of these diseases within the medical community and promoting research, the IBD nurse advocates for patients.

Depending on the size of the patient load, it may be unrealistic for the IBD nurse advocate to coordinate studies. At the very least though, the nurse must be aware and informed about studies involving IBD patients.

The nurse can introduce studies to patients that meet inclusion criteria and further promote research by staying in touch with investigators. At Johns Hopkins, research is being conducted on the genetics of IBD (Brant et al, 2000) and on the metabolism of azathioprine/purinethol. Information gained from studies improves patient management strategies and provides answers to patient's questions. Enzyme and metabolite levels are monitored to predict efficacy and safety of therapy. Dosages are adjusted using this information. Patients may be spared the side effects of leukopenia or liver dysfunction by monitoring the metabolite levels (Cuffari et al, 2001).

Opportunities also arise for the IBD nurse advocate to speak to groups of nurses that care for IBD patients and need more information on the unique needs of this population. Both formal and informal teaching opportunities become available for nurses on inpatient units, in the infusion room, and in endoscopy. Further opportunities to speak for the IBD patients occur with interchanges with those continuing their medical education and training (medical students, interns, residents, and fellows).

Additionally, at Johns Hopkins, the IBD nurse facilitates infliximab orders for the infusion program as well as monitoring follow-up of those patients. Long-term data is maintained to follow the progress, adverse events, and continued benefits of this therapy.

Constipation Prescription

Constipation Prescription

Did you ever think feeling angry and irritable could be a symptom of constipation? A horrible fullness and pressing sharp pains against the bladders can’t help but affect your mood. Sometimes you just want everyone to leave you alone and sleep to escape the pain. It is virtually impossible to be constipated and keep a sunny disposition. Follow the steps in this guide to alleviate constipation and lead a happier healthy life.

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