Nurses and delirium

A reader responds to a recent article on preventing delirium in the ICU.

I was incredibly disappointed to read a highlighted comment from Carrie Goodson, MD, MHS, in “Simple steps help prevent ICU delirium” (November 2017 ACP Hospitalist).

Dr. Goodson is quoted saying, “Nurses are unlikely to feel motivated to mobilize patients and monitor for delirium if physicians never ask for this information or make changes to the plan based upon it.”

I agree with Dr. Goodson that it requires a multidisciplinary effort to tackle delirium in our ICU patient population, but the highlighted quote is simply false and presents an antiquated and inaccurate perception of nursing. Early patient mobilization and delirium recognition have been in nursing research and literature for years, and interdisciplinary teams addressing early mobilization and delirium detection have been led by nurses in ICUs across the country.

Erik McIntosh, RN, DNP, ACNP-BC

Dr. Goodson responds: Dr. McIntosh, thank you for your interest in ICU patient mobilization and delirium monitoring. I appreciate your point of view. I wholeheartedly agree that nursing research and clinical care are at the forefront of this important topic. Optimizing the ICU culture to improve patient outcomes should include increasing cross-disciplinary interest and encouragement of best practices.

Carrie Goodson, MD, MHS